Episode: Skylab: NASA’s Best-Kept Secret| Apollo’s Leftovers | 1

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Skylab: NASA’s Best-Kept Secret| Apollo’s Leftovers | 1

Fifty years ago, America’s space program achieved its greatest triumph, when Apollo Eleven put the first men on the moon.

The Apollo program was a remarkable success story. But as NASA was sending men to the moon, they were engaged in another, less celebrated project — one even more important than the moon landings to humanity’s potential future in space. That project was called Skylab — America’s first space station.

Chances are you’ve never heard of Skylab. If you know anything about it at all, you know that after it was launched into orbit, it came crashing back down to Earth. But before that crash, Skylab taught NASA more things about living and working in space than any program before it.

So why did one of the engineers who worked on Skylab once call it “the little redheaded bastard out behind the barn”? Why do so many accounts of NASA’s achievements barely mention it? Why have most Americans never heard of America’s first space station?

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