back to article Searching for Skylab: Even the most casual astro-nerd will revel in this respectful elegy to unsung space history

As NASA gears up to celebrate to 50 years since the first Moon landing, another anniversary is rolling around. It is 45 years since the last crew left Skylab and 40 since the station spread itself over a chunk of Australia. Though Armstrong & co's lunar antics garnered the headlines, three missions, of increasing duration, to …

  1. SeanR

    Skylab Medical Experiment Altitude Test?

    could have called it:

    Skylab Medical Experiment Altitude Research

    and then they'd have to conduct SMEAR tests.

    this post brought to you by Weak Jokes inc.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nah mate, SMERSH is where it's at.

    2. hammarbtyp Silver badge

      Skylab Medical Experiment Gadget

    3. MyffyW Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Smear Test

      For those blessed with XX chromosomes popping one's legs in the stirups for such a test is hardly the most dignified of pursuits but can save your life. Pester your significant other to have one when you go home.

      I am of course talking about having your cervix examined, not going up to a 1970s space station.

  2. big_D Silver badge


    "I went to bed terrified that our house, and our house alone would be the one it hit. I woke up the next morning very relieved that it wasn't."

    I'm glad for him, that his house wasn't alone in being hit. Oh, wait... :-D

    Glad it left such an impression on his life (as opposed to him), that he has made the film.

    1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

      Re: Terrified...

      Exactly my thought - it must have been the whole neighbourhood flattened. Anyway, this one's by Lame Joke Inc.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Terrified...

      It is a little known fact that crashing Skylab into Australia was a failed attempt to eradicate the hazards to humanity that seem to occupy most of the continent. NASA knew what they were doing. Just wait until it is time to deorbit the ISS....

      1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

        Re: Terrified...

        eradicate the hazards to humanity that seem to occupy most of the continent


        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Terrified...

          Drop bears.

  3. Muscleguy Silver badge

    I remember

    I was in the last year of secondary school in Auckland, NZ. The final year people were wandering around with loo paper roll binoculars and hard hats claiming to protect us from it. Not all of it hit Oz, some of it hit the bits of ocean around NZ but missed NZ (long and thin has it’s advantages).

    Still, Australia is eroding away, the dust from the big dust storms can fall on eastern NZ so it needed the extra mass contribution. Didn’t knock much sense into the Ockers though. Heads are too hard for that.

  4. James 47

    They could have had a better trailer

    1. jake Silver badge


      At the speeds Skylab was moving, a trailer would chine-walk and the thing would have fallen out of control that much sooner.

  5. Alan J. Wylie

    Obligatory Tom Lehrer / Von Braun "things coming down" reference

  6. JeffyPoooh Silver badge

    "...looking into distribution options, including streaming platforms and Blu-ray."

    Yes please !!!

    1. Baldrickk Silver badge

      Re: "...looking into distribution options, including streaming platforms and Blu-ray."

      They got "behind the curve" onto Netflix, it'd be nice to get some real science on there as well.

      (yes, while I haven't watched it, I do realise that BTC isn't pro-flat-earth)

  7. Borg.King

    Wak inside Skylab

    For those visiting Washington DC, I can highly recommend the Smithsonian National Air and Space museum, as it has a Skylab workshop exhibit (backup flight unit) that you can walk through.

  8. TimeMaster T

    NASA could have saved it.

    NASA had a booster module in development that would have raised Skylabs orbit and kept it there for years. It was supposed to be launched on a Titan II launch body, it would have attached to Skylab's docking ring and not have needed anyone to actually be there to install it. But the atmospheric drag on the station increased faster than expected, the booster module got stalled by the funding committee for various political reasons so nothing got done and the first real space station ever put in orbit was lost.

    I still remember going out one night a few weeks before the station burned up and watching it pass over head, a faint point of light moving slowly across the sky. Looking back on that night and knowing what I know now about why the station was allowed to fall and the way the station has been ignored and forgotten* I get a little ticked off, it was such a wasted opportunity for the space program.

    * seen several timeline of the events and milestones of Human spaceflight, they mentioned everything but Skylab. Given how extensive they were I find it hard to believe the omissions were an accident.

  9. Gene Cash Silver badge

    El Reg to the rescue!

    I follow 10-15 "space related" websites and NONE of them have mentioned this.

    If any Vultures ever make it to Orlando, beers and a trip to KSC are on me. You have my email.

  10. OzBob

    Waiting for netflix gets my votes

    I purchased the "Mission Control" Movie (made about 10 years too late) and saw it on Netflix within 6 months. Not making that mistake again.

  11. MrReal Bronze badge

    Skylab was a brilliant demonstration that even without the LM or CSM the pathetic F-1 powered Saturn V couldn't even get an essentially empty tube into a stable low earth orbit.

    That's what happens when you build rocket motors using 1962 tech. and made of lots of tubes brazed together.

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