Do you have a space enthusiast in your homeschool? Why not take a few minutes today to learn about Skylab, America’s first space station, launched on this day in 1974.
After the successful Apollo Program and the moon landings of the 1960s, the next step for NASA was the construction of a semi-permanent space station. That space station was Skylab, and it was to go into operation with two launches in succession: first the unmanned station itself, and then the next day the astronaut crew who would dock with the station and take control. But all did not go according to plan. The station’s solar panels didn’t deploy correctly, and the launch of the crew was delayed until engineers could figure out how the astronauts could repair the solar panels in orbit (which they did, two weeks later).
Here’s NASA’s official Skylab website, full of interesting information about the Skylab program and its many discoveries:
And here’s a five-minute Skylab documentary, also from NASA, that gives an overview of the program:
To get a real sense of the historical moment, there’s nothing better than a live recording of the launch itself—this one from NBC News. Students today may have a hard time understanding how millions of people all across the country were glued to their televisions during all these early space launches:
Perhaps you have a future astronaut in your homeschool. Mars will be the next stop! 🚀
What extraterrestrial discoveries have you made in your homeschool lately? Tell us in the comments! 😊