Space Travel Is In My Dreams And An Alabama Field.

mister jason™
by mister jason™ on
Space Travel Is In My Dreams And An Alabama Field.

I’ve been having a lot of space travel dreams lately. Virgin Galactic seems to be getting close to making zero-G space flight by non-astronaut people attainable in the near future. The first to go will obviously be wealthy. It’ll be intersting to see how long it takes to make something similar available to the non-ultrawealthy.

Why all the space dreams? I have no idea. On to another space-related tangent.

For some reason, I had it in my head that Skylab met with some horrific fate like Apollo 1. Dr. Adrienne nicely reminded me that, “no…nothing like that ever happened.” Maybe I’ve been standing too close to the microwave.

Unlike the actual details of the Skylab program, a childhood trip to the National Air & Space Museum in Washington D.C. was an incredibly memorable experience.

One of the exhibits is a never-flown duplicate of the Skylab space station that orbited Earth from 1973-1979. Every surface was covered with acrylic panels, but you could walk through it and get within an inch of most of the buttons and controls. I remember being in awe of the size of the thing. Granted, I was something like 7 years old – it was still big.

Apparently, one of the full scale mockups used by astronauts and engineers during the three crewed missions in 1973 and 1974 used to be in the Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL. It was moved outside a number of years ago and the temporary coverings have now failed. The Skylab Restoration Project was started by the Alabama/Mississippi section of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics to save what’s quickly deteriorating. You can make tax-deductible donations via their website.


Updated links to the Skylab Restoration Project to Internet Archive links. The last status report was posted to the site in March of 2008.

Intervention By the Governor of Alabama March 30, 2008 Thank you to everyone who wrote or emailed Alabama Governor Riley. On March 17th after intervention by the Governor and a wait of over a year the USSRC recovered the 1st deck of Skylab. However the cover was not completely secured and once again parts of the deck exposed to weather. That someone took steps to secure the cover is a victory. According to the USSRC page $1,200,000 million dollars is needed to restore Skylab back to the condition it was in prior to being abandoned in a parking lot. It would have cost under $50,000 dollars to store Skylab in a commercial warehouse for the last 8 years. Simple planning that would have kept it in pristine condition. NASA MSFC (a few miles away) also had facilities able to store Skylab at not cost. The USSRC only had to ask. The key to this point is critical mismanagement by the USSRC. The curator is responsible for abandoning a historic artifact full of equipment to weather. Better planning would have been to secure storage space before moving if from the museum building. It’s a bit more cost effective. The USSRC needs to better protect, secure and preserve artifacts that belong to the people of Alabama or entrusted to it by the National Air and Space Museum. Call the Executive Director of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center Foundation 256-430-6702. Let her know you want US space history preserved.

mister jason™

about mister jason™

A post-hardcore rock-n-roller, graphic designer, amateur chef, typography nerd, coffee connoisseur, radio guy, motorcyclist, skateboard commuter, and a reluctant adult. He lives in Portland Ore. USA with the lovely Dr. Adrienne and Otto T. Dog.