(Published a day early, by mistake, enjoy!)
Here is another item you won’t find anywhere online, on the belief that just as we never know where we may end up, it’s best to upload to the cloud while we can.
This fold-out poster pamphlet “Skylab,” by Martin Marietta, is an infographic from before infographics were an online newsy-site thing. It’s amazing the capability you could outfit for about 75 tons (not including the Apollo spacecraft for the crew, launched soon after).
For comparison, the currently advertised payload of the SpaceX Starship is 100 tons. Likewise, the International Space Station mass, assembled over many launches, is nearly 6X as much as Skylab (445 metric tons vs. 76.5.)
NASA is looking beyond the ISS. Through public-private partnerships, NASA will be a customer, not an owner, of space stations built off ISS and destinations in low Earth orbit. Looking back, we can always learn from what came before. And see how far we have come.
Did you know Skylab orbited near the current ISS orbit, 270km and 50 degrees orbital inclination? The ISS orbit of 418km and 51.6-degree inclination was selected so Russia could more easily reach it. Also, Skylab had a telescope, the ATM (see lower right,) where “Retrieval and replacement of the film used in the ATM is done by astronaut extravehicular activity (EVA).”