Issue Date: May 14, 1974
City: Houston, TX
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Lithographed, engraved
This issue celebrates the first anniversary of the launching of Skylab I, the first orbiting space laboratory. Skylab eventually returned to Earth with about 94,000 frames of film and 100,000 feet of tape for space researchers to study.
Skylab and Johnson Space Center
As NASA’s “Center of excellence in human operations,” Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center has been at the forefront of improving human operations in space. One of the center’s benchmark achievements was the creation of Skylab – America’s first orbiting space laboratory.
Skylab was created by modifying the third stage of the Saturn V rocket and was equipped with a wide range of scientific instruments. Its mission included many tasks, including testing human adaptability to weightlessness, conducting experiments at zero gravity, studying a broad view of Earth’s surface, and taking full-spectrum photos of the Universe outside of atmospheric distortion.
The first skylab mission was launched from Kennedy Space Center May 25, 1973. A crew of three astronauts spent 28 days aboard Skylab. The second mission lasted 59 days, and the third and final mission lasted 84 days, setting a record at that time.
In 1979, disturbances from solar storms knocked Skylab out of orbit. Skylab disintegrated as it re-entered Earth’s atmosphere.