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  SkyLab! What's you opinion?

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Author Topic:   SkyLab! What's you opinion?
Rob Joyner

Posts: 1308
From: GA, USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 02-21-2004 12:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
First there was the launch of SkyLab itself and then three manned missions followed.
My question is:
When talking about the last manned SkyLab mission, do you refer to it as SkyLab 3 or SkyLab 4?
I feel the majority of the public refer to it as #3 because it was the third manned mission, while NASA's "official" designation is #4 because it was the fourth mission in the series.
I prefer to call it SkyLab 4 because of NASA's official notation and also when Ed Gibson and Bill Pogue signed my book they both added SL-4.
So what's your take on this?
The score so far: SkyLab 3 - 0, SkyLab 4 - 1


Posts: 1217
From: Huntsville, AL, USA
Registered: Jun 2003

posted 02-21-2004 01:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidH   Click Here to Email DavidH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My understanding is that the larger number designates the launch, and the lower one, the mission.
Further, the launch number, I believe, is generally given as a digit, i.e. SL-4.
The mission number, as seen on the patches, is sometimes seen as a Roman number, i.e. Skylab II, (though only the first two patches use Roman numerals).
So, arguably, it's not a question of one number being right and one being wrong, the two numbers describe two different things.
At the Skylab anniversary event, some of the crew had a novel approach for avoiding the confusion. The mission you refer to, Skylab III/4, they would talk about verbally as "Skylab Three-Quarters," as opposed to the first crew, "Skylab One-Half" or the second one, "Skylab Two-Thirds"
As to your question, how do I refer to the third Skylab crew?
I call them the third Skylab crew. That way, you know exactly who I'm talking about.

"America's challenge of today has forged man's destiny of tomorrow." - Commander Eugene Cernan, Apollo 17 Mission, 11 December 1972


Posts: 578
From: Ohio
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 02-21-2004 08:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for RMH   Click Here to Email RMH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Skylab mission numbers have always confused me as well. Althogh I had never thought about it before, I think David has a keen observation about the use of Roman numerals vs digit numbers. I went back through my autograph collection and looked at what the skylab astronauts wrote as their mission numbers. Some of the astronauts used digits while others used roman numerals, But they all followed the same pattern that a roman numeral was crew order and a digit was used for launch number.

This wouldn't be a problem when writing but when speaking I guess you would have to say the 3rd skylab crew or the 4th skylab mission. Thats a greats idea by the crew on how to name their mission.

posted 02-21-2004 09:31 AM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think the way NASA explained it back in 1972-73 was the Skylab Workshop was considered Skylab-1, the first crew was Skylab-2, the second crew was Skylab-3 and the last crew was Skylab-4. The NASA cachets used these designations.

John Macco

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 43576
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-21-2004 10:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bill Pogue once replied to a cS reader's question about the naming of the Skylab missions with the essay found here:


Posts: 74
From: Auckland, New Zealand
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 03-03-2004 11:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for burnsnz   Click Here to Email burnsnz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have a Jerry Carr Autograph and he has signed it Jerry Carr, CDR, Skylab 3 (SL-4).

There you have it! I guess he would know.

All the Best

Burns Fallow
New Zealand

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