selected space history documents

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Skylab, the United States' first space station, was launched into Earth orbit on May 14, 1973. Through the use of a "dry" third stage of the Saturn V, the station was completely outfitted as a workshop area before launch. Three crews of three men each visited the station, with their missions lasting 28, 59, and 84 days.

The attached are fragments of fiberglass insulation recovered after Skylab reentered the atmosphere on July 11, 1979. Mission managers had intended to bring down Skylab over the Indian Ocean, but the station didn't behave as expected and the larger pieces which survived reentry fell over Perth, Australia. These pieces, as authenticated by NASA Skylab Team Leader Kaymond Gause, are from the remnants of six oxygen supply tanks used for the astronauts' life support system.

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