HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Space enthusiasts from around the country gathered at the Marshall Space Flight Center Friday evening to watch the premiere of a documentary on NASA’s Skylab.
While the Apollo 11 astronauts were still on the moon, concepts for Skylab were being approved.
Skylab was the country’s first ever space station. Some astronauts spent months inside of it. Two in particular said they wouldn’t have changed that for the world.
The astronauts said they’re happy someone is documenting the history.
“I really relish this opportunity and I was glad to see it happen, I didn’t know it was on the way but all of a sudden I got a call to come see the film,” explains Jack Lousma, Skylab 3 Scientist Pilot. “To me, it sort of completes a circle.”
The film’s director said that circle was revolutionary but got lost in history.
“It’s important because it’s partially a forgotten era of NASA’s space history,” explained Dwight Steven-Boniecki. “It fell in the shadow of Apollo, and because of that, it was out of favor.”
The filmmaker raised money on Kickstarter to create the documentary.
NASA Skylab 4 Scientist Pilot Ed Gibson said he and fellow astronauts never did the job for recognition but for the advancement of science.
“At the time, you didn’t think it was that significant because you were working toward an actual step, an actual progression,” explained Gibson. “But then when you got all done, over the years you realize it really set the tone for what happened following the space shuttle, and space station and now what we’re doing in the future.”