Skylab Rescue Mission

Readers of The Water Cure may recall that the secret Skylark mission’s purpose in the novel was obscured with the fiction that the launch would lift an unmanned, remotely-operated Apollo command/service module spacecraft to dock with the Skylab space station in orbit, providing an escape module for astronauts there in the event that their spacecraft were to malfunction.

There actually were plans for a Skylab Rescue Mission, if needed, using a Saturn 1B booster and an Apollo spacecraft to be flown by two astronauts with extra acceleration seats affixed within its command module.

This Wikipedia article summarizes the history of the effort which, fortunately, was never needed — in spite of some concern over one Apollo craft’s RCS (Reaction Control System) thrusters, vital in turning and orienting the spacecraft.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skylab_Rescue

An illustration of the interior of the Apollo command module, configured with two head-to-toe inverted seats near the heat shield and the usual three seats for the astronauts flying the mission. A stowage locker for mission data, film and other items rests between the lower seats.
Skylab Rescue Mission: Command Module Diagram (artist’s conception)

About W. Keith Brenton

W. Keith Brenton is a retired communication specialist, minister and passenger train conductor, living and writing in the historic resort village Eureka Springs, Arkansas. He is the widowed adoptive dad of Matt and Laura, and Pop-Pop to one grandchild. He enjoys drinking the local water, but unfortunately doesn’t look any younger than his actual age.
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