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  Mercury - Gemini - Apollo
  Skylab: airborne comm and tracking stations

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Author Topic:   Skylab: airborne comm and tracking stations
Tykeanaut
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Posts: 1650
From: Worcestershire, England, UK.
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 08-21-2013 02:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I watched a TV programme last week that said the Skylab space station communications were covered by several aircraft around the world to enable constant contact.

I must be naive as I had no idea this was the case and just assumed it was via satellites.

Sy Liebergot
Member

Posts: 463
From: Pearland, Texas USA
Registered: May 2003

posted 08-21-2013 07:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Sy Liebergot   Click Here to Email Sy Liebergot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm not certain of this. I clearly recall LOS of nearly an hour.

tetrox
Member

Posts: 97
From: London England
Registered: Jan 2008

posted 08-21-2013 07:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tetrox   Click Here to Email tetrox     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm not aware of satellites being used to relay telemetry during Skylab missions. However, I'm sure others may correct this.

The ATS satellite was used during the Apollo-Soyuz mission which I understood to be something of a first.

Boeing 135 ARIA aircraft with their distinctive bulbous nose were used during Skylab as they were during Apollo to relay communications "as I understand it" in areas out of reach of the worldwide ground based receiving stations.

tetrox
Member

Posts: 97
From: London England
Registered: Jan 2008

posted 08-21-2013 08:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tetrox   Click Here to Email tetrox     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Following up on my previous post, this document on Bob Andrepont's wonderful "Scribd" site makes various mentions of linking through ARIA "Advanced Range Instrumentation Aircraft." For example, at the bottom of page 5.

Ross
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Posts: 378
From: Australia
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 08-21-2013 09:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ross   Click Here to Email Ross     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As well as the land based tracking network there were four range instrumented aircraft and one tracking ship, the USNS Vanguard. The aircraft operated from Australian (2), Spanish and Indian Ocean airfields and were mainly used to fill the voids in communications during the launch and early orbital phases of each flight.

Satellites were not in general use until part the way through the Space Shuttle missions when a system of TDRS satellites was commissioned. The first was launched in 1983 on STS-6.

Jim Behling
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Posts: 560
From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 08-21-2013 09:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
  1. Satellites were not used until ASTP and ATS-6. And then not until STS-8.

  2. ARIA were only used during launch phase. They would not have been used during the onorbit phase of the Skylab mission.

All times are CT (US)

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