Skylab 2 splashed down. Program: Skylab. Spacecraft: Skylab.
At 9:49 a.m. EDT, Skylab 2 splashed down in the Pacific Ocean 9.6 km from the recovery ship, U.S.S. Ticonderoga , and 1320 km southwest of San Diego. At 10:28 a.m., the crew and spacecraft were aboard the Ticonderoga. The objectives of the SL-1/SL-2 mission were to establish the Orbital Workshop in Earth orbit, obtain medical data on the crew for use in extending the duration of manned space flight, and perform inflight experiments. A summary assessment of the mission objectives indicated a very high degree of completion, particularly when the reduction in experiment time due to parasol deployment, solar array wing deployment, and OWS system anomalies were considered.
Primary mission objectives were accomplished, and a majority of the assigned experiment-detailed objectives were completed. The following conclusions were drawn from the SL-1/SL-2 mission:
- Resolution of the seemingly insurmountable system difficulties that occurred on the flight demonstrated the advantage of having man on board space vehicles.
- The flight demonstrated that for long-term manned and unmanned space flight, provisions needed to be made for unforeseen inflight repair and maintenance in the form of accessibility, handholds, tools, facilities, materials, and hardware appropriate for interior and exterior operation.
- There were no operationally significant physical or psychological health problems associated with the space vehicle environment for the 28-day visit.
- There were no findings that would preclude longer duration visits.
- The habitability provisions were satisfactory and contributed to the ability of the crew to work effectively for a visit of this duration.
- No factors were identified to preclude longer duration visits.
- Operation of the command and service module systems in a semiquiescent state was demonstrated for the 28-day period.
- No factors were identified which precluded operation for longer periods.
- Extensive scientific data were returned in all planned experiment disciplines
- The methods and techniques employed in the daily flight planning provided the flexibility to react to major departures from preflight plans and constraints. This ability was an important factor in optimizing the scientific return.
- The various experiment groups were organized effectively within each discipline and functioned well as a unit. In addition, with the excellent cooperation between the various experiment groups, flight planning techniques were effective in resolving interdisciplinary conflicts and integrating the diverse experiments program.
- Long-duration flight with sophisticated multidiscipline experiments generated large amounts of data requiring ground data handling and processing capabilities.
- Overall objectives of the visit were accomplished.