42 years ago today: our first space station crew

42 years ago today, on May 25, 1973, the first Saturn 1B to launch from LC39 lifted off.  To adapt it to the structures built for the larger Saturn V rocket, the Saturn 1B stood atop a framework nicknamed the “milkstool”.  The crew of Commander Pete Conrad, Joseph Kerwin, and Paul Weitz successfully lifted off and rendezvoused with Skylab, which had suffered damage during launch.  Their first priority was to fix the damage, and erect a “parasol” of reflective film to reduce solar heating, as it had lost one of its radiators during launch.  Their mission was completely successful, and Skylab would host two more crews before ultimately returning to Earth.

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