News Journal archives end of school segregation, Skylab, U-2 spy plane

“Pages of history” features excerpts from The News Journal archives including the Wilmington Morning News and the Evening Journal.

May 15, 1973, The Morning News

Skylab launched into doubt as liftoff damages power units

Skylab, the nation’s first space station, was no sooner rocketed into orbit yesterday than a deployment failure of its solar power wings threatened to delay and severely limit manned operations aboard the largest spaceship ever built.

The 80-ton space station took off on time at 1:30 p.m., but the vibrations of liftoff apparently damaged at least one of the two wing-like solar panels that was to provide power….

The problem was described as one of the most serious setbacks to the nation’s space program, and the launching of the Skylab astronauts was postponed until Sunday….

There was a serious question as to whether the second and third crews, scheduled to follow in August and November, would be able to come anywhere close to completing their plans for 56-day flights each. The original plan was for the nine astronauts to live and work in Skylab over the next eight months to test man’s ability in the gravity-free conditions for long periods….

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