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Guest: Dwight Steven-Boniecki; Topics: Skylab missions, Dwight's latest book on Skylab. Please direct all comments and questions regarding specific Space Show programs & guest(s) to the Space Show blog which is part of archived program on our website, www.thespaceshow.com. Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.
We welcomed Dwight Steven-Boniecki back to the show to discuss his latest Skylab book. During the first segment of our 90 minute program, Dwight responded to my initial question about why we should care about Skylab given it was launched May 14, 1973. Dwight told us many stories about Skylab, he talked about the launch anomaly and how the problems were eventually resolved, the role of the various crews, AF spy plane photos to document the damage and more. He described the unplanned EVA regarding the solar panel repair and he mentioned various crew accomplishments per individual crew members. Toward the end of the segment, he talked about the return to Earth of Skylab, why it crashed in western Australia and the debris that was found and where it is today. Dwight also discussed the crew problems with ground control for being overworked and why. Don't mist his story. In addition, after hearing this segment, you will have a good understanding of the value and important role Skylab played in our early space program.
In the second segment of the program, I asked our guest about lessons learned. He said there were many and they were crucial to the ISS as well as future astronauts. Dwight talked about the detailed studies and tests made by Skylab astronauts that are crucial today for ISS missions. He also told us the story about Skylab astronauts gaining 2 inches in width on orbit and having problems getting into their spacesuits on orbit since the spacesuits were fitted in 1G. In addition, we talked about some of the crew practical jokes played on ground control, including the one where they faked having a woman crewmember onboard Skylab communicating with ground control.
We did take several listener email questions throughout the discussion. Jack in Newark asked about the AF spy plane photos of Skylab due to the launch problems, wondering why NASA would not use AF spy plane photos regarding the Columbia shuttle problems. A listener in tough with Dwight updated us on air on that story. Another story he told us dealt with the question wanting to compare Skylab crews to the early ISS crews. Dwight had much to say regarding this comparison. Another questioner asked if there were ever commercial considerations for Skylab but Skylab was before the days of commercial space projects and experiments. Paula then sent in an email based on Dwight's earlier comments about odor, this time asking about the Skylab bathroom. We even got a question asking about a possible woman Skylab crewmember but Skylab was too early for that though this is the point where Dwight told us about the practical joke mentioned earlier in this review.
I asked Dwight about his books which you can get at www.apogee.com. They include special footage and video on a DVD which Dwight talked about.
Before the program ended, Dwight took a listener question about private space stations and mentioned that private astronauts would have to deal with several serious issues including space adaptation sickness, periods of isolation, and that they must be trained. I then mentioned a recent article by space tourist Richard Garriott about the problems that will face a space tourist. You can read the Bloomberg.com article, "Travel Tips From a Real Space Tourist: Get Ready to Feel Awful: In space, no one can hear you ask for more Sudafed." Check it out here: www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-21/travel-tips-from-a-real-space-tourist-get-ready-to-feel-awful.
Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog on our website. You can reach Dwight though his Facebook groups which he provided at the end of our discussion, through his publisher, or through me.