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The Enduring Station: A History of Skylab, 1974-1985


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Ok so, this is my first topic, and first attempt at doing an alternate history. I decided to say "what if NASA didn't have that lull in the 70s and instead resurrected Skylab and expanded upon it?"

Thanks to @track and @Aviation365 for inspiring me to do this (a lot of discussion of OGL and GATU happened in the r/KSP discord where i threw my ideas at the wall)

 

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The Enduring Station, Part 1: Revival

(images are spoilered bc they are massive)              

Chapter 1, Post 1 of 2:

March 31, 1974
Skylab 5 is rolled out to LC-39A ahead of an April 7 launch date for a 20-day mission to reboost the Orbital Workshop and perform some science experiments.

 

Spoiler

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This mission uses Saturn IB SA-209 and Apollo CSM-119 (which had previously been converted for the never-flown Skylab Rescue mission) and marks the only launch of a Saturn IB from 39A, as well as the last visit to Skylab by an Apollo CSM. Its crew consisted of three rookies, commander Vance D. Brand, pilot Don Lind and science pilot William B. “Bill” Lenoir.

 

April 7, 1974: Launch Day for Skylab 5

Ignition of the 8 H-1 engines on Saturn IB and liftoff

 

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T+155 seconds: S-IB sep and S-IVB ignition

 

Spoiler

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T+ 635 seconds: S-IVB cutoff and CSM separation

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1 day later...

 

April 8, 1974

Skylab 5 approaches the derelict OWS and prepares to dock.

 

Spoiler

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"Looks like the repairs have held up."
 

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"Yeah, but she's lost attitude control. Probably an electrical issue that can be fixed."

"Docking confirmed."

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A mere hour after docking, Brand goes on a solo EVA to attempt to repair the failed attitude control system.

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"Well, there's your problem. That connector shouldn't be loose."

Spoiler

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Addendum: Reboost and return are in Post 2 of 2.

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