Skylab 4 Crew at Patrick Air Force Base


Dublin Core


Skylab 4 Crew at Patrick Air Force Base

Alternative Title

Skylab 4
SL-4 Crew at Patrick AFB


Patrick Air Force Base (Fla.)
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (U.S.)
Astronauts--United States
Skylab Program
Gibson, Ed
Carr, Gerald P.
Carr, Jerry, 1932-
Pogue, William R.
Pogue, Bill, 1930-2014


The Skylab 4 (SL-4) crew at Patrick Air Force Base for a press conference. In the first photograph appear, from left to right, Science Pilot Edward Gibson (1936-), Command Module Pilot William R. Pogue (1930-2014), and Mission Commander Gerald P. Carr (1932-). The second photograph shows Carr, Gibson, and Pogue, from left to right.

As Project Apollo was winding down and the final three missions (Apollo 18, Apollo 19, and Apollo 20) were canceled, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) looked for ways to repurpose launch vehicles and other equipment. Out of this, Skylab and three space science missions were born. Skylab was conceived by famed rocket designer, Wernher von Braun (1912-1977), to use an unused upper-stage fuel tank and convert it to an orbital laboratory. This was necessitated by NASA's budget being slashed. With the tank becoming the basis of the space station, NASA added solar arrays, a docking adapter, and a space observatory. The Skylab missions were constituted of one mission to put the station in space (Skylab 1), using a modified and last Saturn V to launch, and three crewed missions (Skylab 2, Skylab 3, and Skylab 4) to occupy the lab and perform science, using the smaller Saturn IB booster to launch the three astronaut crews. When launched on May 14, 1973, the station encountered problems immediately. A micrometeoroid shield prematurely deployed and tore off one of the two main solar arrays. NASA engineers went to work and were able to save Skylab and the three crewed missions. Each of the subsequent missions set what were then endurance records for living in space and conducted substantial space science experiments. NASA tried to keep Skylab in orbit after Skylab 4 and until the Space Shuttle could boast its orbit, but with a decaying orbit, it crashed on July 11, 1979. SL-4 was launched from Launch Complex 39B on November 16, 1973, using what was jokingly referred to as a "milk stool" to adapt the launcher to the smaller Saturn IB booster. The mission set a then endurance record of more than 84 days in space.


Original black and white photographic prints, November 13, 1973: Larry Summers Collection.

Date Created



Is Format Of

Digital reproduction of original black and white photographic prints, November 13, 1973.

Is Part Of

Florida Space Coast History Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.




85.2 KB
61.1 KB


2 black and white photographic prints




Still Image


Patrick Air Force Base, Florida

Accrual Method



History Teacher
Civics/Government Teacher

Rights Holder

Copyright to this resource is held by Larry Summers and is provided here by RICHES of Central Florida for educational purposes only.


Michlowitz, Robert
Cepero, Laura

Digital Collection

External Reference

"Skylab, Birth of the Modern Space Station: Part I - The History of Sky | NASA." National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Accessed August 12.
"Skylab, Our First Space Station - ch2." 2015. SP-400 NASA - Skylab, Our First Space Station. Accessed September 25.
Howell, Elizabeth. 2013. "Skylab: First U.S. Space Station." February 1.

Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format

2 black and white photographic prints


“Skylab 4 Crew at Patrick Air Force Base,” RICHES, accessed May 25, 2024,