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The US Space and Rocket Center (USSRC) made a surprise announcement today. As of December 1, 2006 they started a Skylab preservation effort of there own. Ours is concluded as of today. This announcement was the reason for the surprise request Thursday by the USSRC to bring back Skylab structures and systems volunteers have been refurbishing, cleaning and rebuilding. Once the USSRC formally establishes plans, process, procedures and methods we will be welcome to take part again (as members of the USSRC team). As of today no further work will take place on Skylab until the spring of 2007.
This will prevent completion of our planned restoration of Skylab by June of 2007. A new estimated date for completion of the restoration of Skylab by the USSRC is not yet determined.
This effort was a lot of fun. People learned how crewed spacecraft where built a generation ago, held history in there hands, made an impact and save US and Alabama space history for the future.
I know our efforts are appreciated. If not for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), United Space Alliance (USA), the people who have volunteered time every Saturday for the last 6 months and donated money/supplies the Skylab 1-g trainer would be a lost cause.
In the past 4 months we have: [list][*]Cleaned and restored 85% of the 1st deck, compartments and lockers
[*]Cleaned, repaired and restored 80% of the structure and assemblies in the 1st deck
[*]Replaced/repaired wooden structures for the 1st deck
[*]Cleaned and repaired beta cloth
[*]Cleaned the crew shower
[*]Cleaned the lower-body negative pressure experiment
[*]Cleaned crew intercoms
[*]Found and installed a replacement crew freezer for the wardroom (the original was destroyed by water and weather)
[*]Cleaned the crew sleep area equipment
[*]Hand scrubbed the sub flooring thru the deck grating (this involved using a small brush, water, cleaner and a shop vacuum. Going from grid to grid it took over 2 hours to clean 3 sq. ft.), and
[*]Restored many, many small systems and structures[/list] We fixed the MDA airlock hatches, closed the airlock EVA hatch and started to clean and remove debris form the MDA structure.
We discovered unique historic items. As an example we found the 6-pack rate gyros a Skylab crew test fitted in the MDA prior to replacing them on orbit in Skylab.
Our volunteers consisted of college students, recent graduates, engineers, scientist, technicians, managers and trades people. In short, the good people of Alabama. I hope everyone will take part again next year when the USSRC is ready. REMEMBER, you made a difference, you saved history.
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