Author Topic: Skylab Deorbiting Study June 1-15 1973  (Read 6638 times)

Offline Graham2001

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Skylab Deorbiting Study June 1-15 1973
« on: 05/09/2011 03:19 pm »
Another piece of the Skylab puzzle has come to light on the NTRS.

During early June NAR ran a series of simulations designed to allow the estimation of what would happen if the CSM's SPS was use to either deorbit Skylab or 'shape' (Boost?) Skylab's orbit.

The publication date is November 1973, just in time for Skylab 4.

Skylab Hardware Evaluation, SPS/SWS DeOrbit Study, Analysis Report

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19760073035_1976073035.pdf
« Last Edit: 05/10/2011 12:41 am by Graham2001 »

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Skylab Deorbiting Study June 1-15 1973
« Reply #1 on: 05/09/2011 03:29 pm »
There's actually quite a bit of information on the Skylab deorbiting studies and decision making in obscure places.  I think that NASA even produced a pamphlet that explained the deorbiting in some detail, along with specific events.  I seem to remember that it was at least 10 pages long.

Offline Graham2001

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Re: Skylab Deorbiting Study June 1-15 1973
« Reply #2 on: 05/10/2011 12:53 am »
There's actually quite a bit of information on the Skylab deorbiting studies and decision making in obscure places.  I think that NASA even produced a pamphlet that explained the deorbiting in some detail, along with specific events.  I seem to remember that it was at least 10 pages long.

I wouldn't doubt it. After the document appeared I did a quick search of the NTRS to see if any of the reference documents were available and none of them were, they all seem to be internal NAR reports.

It's like the unflown versions of Apollo 14 & 15, there would have been mission plans and other studies for them, but only a few of them have made it online, similarly with the Apollo 1 flight there are only a few fragmentary indications of just what was planned online.
« Last Edit: 05/10/2011 12:54 am by Graham2001 »

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Skylab Deorbiting Study June 1-15 1973
« Reply #3 on: 05/10/2011 01:51 am »
It's like the unflown versions of Apollo 14 & 15, there would have been mission plans and other studies for them, but only a few of them have made it online, similarly with the Apollo 1 flight there are only a few fragmentary indications of just what was planned online.

That's what archives are for.

Offline Graham2001

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Re: Skylab Deorbiting Study June 1-15 1973
« Reply #4 on: 05/13/2011 05:31 am »
I've decided to try and use Orbiter to simulate the shaping burn. The information in the Reports 'Appendix E' seems complete enough.

Offline ngc3314

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Re: Skylab Deorbiting Study June 1-15 1973
« Reply #5 on: 05/13/2011 01:08 pm »
There are also traces of advance planning for the Shuttle option to reboost Skylab. I once saw a detailed design for the attachment fixture -  a guy called the office, wanting someone to look over a drawer full of papers found in a file cabinet they'd bought at a Huntsville garage sale. Among them were many copies of the Skylab study, and the crack inspection report for the Saturn IB destined for ASTP. Surely I kept those photocopies I made. Around here somewhere. No luck finding the fixture document with NTRS, unless it's buried in one of the multivolume Space Tug study reports from the late 1970s.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Skylab Deorbiting Study June 1-15 1973
« Reply #6 on: 05/13/2011 06:54 pm »
There are also traces of advance planning for the Shuttle option to reboost Skylab. I once saw a detailed design for the attachment fixture -  a guy called the office, wanting someone to look over a drawer full of papers found in a file cabinet they'd bought at a Huntsville garage sale. Among them were many copies of the Skylab study, and the crack inspection report for the Saturn IB destined for ASTP. Surely I kept those photocopies I made. Around here somewhere. No luck finding the fixture document with NTRS, unless it's buried in one of the multivolume Space Tug study reports from the late 1970s.

I wonder how far they got with that study.  Did they get to a critical design review with the hardware?  Did they actually start building hardware?

You can go back to old copies of Aviation Week from around that time and see advertisements for it. 

However, keep in mind that the plans were really only to re-boost, not to re-use Skylab.  I think they did a re-use study early on and concluded that it was not practical.

Offline Proponent

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Offline Graham2001

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Re: Skylab Deorbiting Study June 1-15 1973
« Reply #8 on: 09/24/2023 01:37 am »
The link in the OP to the Skylab Deorbiting study is permanently broken. I've attached a copy I found on a backup drive to this posting.

Offline AS_501

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Re: Skylab Deorbiting Study June 1-15 1973
« Reply #9 on: 09/24/2023 02:45 am »
Not to go off topic, but I read somewhere that Marshall was in favor of a Skylab reboost, but Johnson was not, in particular Chris Kraft.  Thanks for the document....fascinating read.
Launches attended:  Apollo 11, ASTP (@KSC, not Baikonur!), STS-41G, STS-125, EFT-1, Starlink G4-24, Artemis 1
Notable Spacecraft Observed:  Echo 1, Skylab/S-II, Salyuts 6&7, Mir Core/Complete, HST, ISS Zarya/Present, Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, Dragon Demo-2, Starlink G4-14 (8 hrs. post-launch), Tiangong

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Skylab Deorbiting Study June 1-15 1973
« Reply #10 on: 02/02/2024 01:40 am »
Not sure where to put this. Not sure what this is. Doesn't look like the AAP Wet Workshop.

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Skylab Deorbiting Study June 1-15 1973
« Reply #11 on: 02/02/2024 03:35 am »
Not sure where to put this. Not sure what this is. Doesn't look like the AAP Wet Workshop.
Guessing it might be a manned Venus flyby mission stack.

Offline LittleBird

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Re: Skylab Deorbiting Study June 1-15 1973
« Reply #12 on: 02/02/2024 10:30 am »
Not sure where to put this. Not sure what this is. Doesn't look like the AAP Wet Workshop.

Looks a bit like the 1966 "S-IVB spent-stage experiment support module" Douglas study illustrated here: https://daveginsberg.substack.com/p/skylab-stages though I also vaguely recall that the earliest wet workshop designs had a Saturn IB launch the workshop and another launch the ATM, so there might have been a point in the intended sequence when the workshop looked a bit like your pic ? Not at all sure where I'd have seen these pics now. [Edit: I realised I'd seen the spent-stage experiment support module in Dave Dooling's article "The Evolution of Skylab" in January 1974 Spaceflight, see second grab below via archive.org]
« Last Edit: 02/02/2024 03:04 pm by LittleBird »

Offline Jim

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Re: Skylab Deorbiting Study June 1-15 1973
« Reply #13 on: 02/02/2024 09:03 pm »
The APS is enlarged

Offline LittleBird

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Re: Skylab Deorbiting Study June 1-15 1973
« Reply #14 on: 02/03/2024 08:59 am »
The APS is enlarged

Fair enough. I guess the other giveaways re Venus mission include the featureless cloud deck and the single large dish antenna on the CSM


Offline Blackstar

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Re: Skylab Deorbiting Study June 1-15 1973
« Reply #15 on: 02/03/2024 11:30 am »
If that is Venus, then the solar panels should be deployed.

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Skylab Deorbiting Study June 1-15 1973
« Reply #16 on: 02/03/2024 01:26 pm »
If that is Venus, then the solar panels should be deployed.
Don't think that is Venus. More likely LEO parking orbit prior to the Earth departure burn. Think the solar panels are stowed prior to main engine burn with the S-IV stage. If that image is a manned Venus flyby mission stack.

Offline Jim

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Re: Skylab Deorbiting Study June 1-15 1973
« Reply #17 on: 02/03/2024 02:07 pm »
The APS is enlarged

Fair enough. I guess the other giveaways re Venus mission include the featureless cloud deck and the single large dish antenna on the CSM



I was just pointing that out.  It just means longer duration mission regardless of trajectory/orbit

Offline Jim

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Re: Skylab Deorbiting Study June 1-15 1973
« Reply #18 on: 02/03/2024 02:14 pm »
Not the Venus flyby.  SPS engine was to be switched out for two LMDE.
« Last Edit: 02/03/2024 02:14 pm by Jim »

Offline LittleBird

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Re: Skylab Deorbiting Study June 1-15 1973
« Reply #19 on: 02/06/2024 05:43 pm »
Could the mystery pic have been an LEO test for a Venus flyby ? Wiki entry lists a couple of earth orbit tests (one LEO, one much higher)-maybe they weren't expected to be identical to the final version ?

Meanwhile, for lovers of Skylab reentry related mystery I offer you an intriguing redaction in Vance Mitchell's history of the relationship between NRO and NASA: Vance Mitchell, Ph.D., “Sharing Space – The Secret Interaction Between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Reconnaissance Office,” NRO, 2012 (attached). See grab below:

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