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From Skylab to Station

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From Skylab to Station: Out of This World Science

Skylab was America's first space station, taking scientific research to new heights and proving humankind could live and work in space for long periods of time. Skylab set the stage for the work conducted today on the International Space Station, where scientists use more advanced technology, a foundation of knowledge and more time to conduct experiments in space, free from Earth's gravity. This work can be applied to benefit humankind both on Earth and in space, as we prepare to explore deeper into our solar system.

Credit: NASA

Source: NASA - Multimedia

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40 Years Ago, Skylab Paved Way for International Space Station

The International Space Station has been in operation with research ongoing since Nov. 2, 2000. America's first space station, Skylab, helped pave the way for permanent operations in low-Earth orbit 40 years ago this year.

Skylab was hailed as a "bold concept" by Rocco Petrone, who served as director of launch operations at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida before becoming director of the agency's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., during 1973 and 1974.

"The program demanded innovation and ingenuity," said Petrone in Skylab, Our First Space Station, a NASA report published in 1977. "Experience and knowledge gained from earlier space programs provided a solid foundation on which to build, but the Skylab Program was truly making new pathways in the sky."

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