It is commonly said that science was a constitutive element (an integral part) of space missions from the beginning. Yuri Gagarin and Alan Shepard’s inaugural human orbit around the Earth in 1961 was based on the great progress of science and technology, and the announcement in the same year of the U.S. decision to go to the Moon by the end of the decade was described to be a great challenge to take the leadership in science and technology in the Cold-War era. Nonetheless, space itself was not a ‘field’ for scientists, where they could collet data and experiment; rather, space was just a frontier to explore and conquer with help of scientists and engineers who research ‘science of space’.
For example, Apollo program indeed acquired scientific validity, while the objective of the Apollo program was, put in the simplest terms, to place a man on the Moon and return him safely. Its aim was mainly related to people’s innate drive to explore unknown regions, to national prestige, and to national security. Of course, there had to be science in Apollo project, but it was ‘science-of-space’ for place human on the Moon, not ‘science-in-space’ for scientists in space.
To answer this question, I will examine the transition process of space space from a ‘site for exploration’ to a ‘field for science’ by tracking the history of Skylab.I will evaluate Skylab as the beginning of ‘science-in-space’.
This is a sketch of Skylab, as drawn by George E. Mueller, NASA associate administrator for Manned Space Flight. This concept drawing was created at a meeting at the Marshall Space Flight Center on August 19, 1966. The image details the station's major elements. In 1970, the station became known as Skylab. Three manned Skylab missions (Skylab 2 in May 1973; Skylab 3 in July 1973; and Skylab 4 in November 1973) were flown on which experiments were conducted in:space science, earth resources, life sciences, space technology, and student projects.The origins of Skylab go back further than 1973.Wernher von Braun had dreamed of the day when humans could stay in space for extended periods of time. During the 1960s, NASA moved forward to accomplish the Apollo missions, and von Braun also studied ways to build future space station to make maximum use of Apollo technology. But, Skylab’s original object was not conducting scientific experiments in space. After accomplishing Apollo mission to land human on the moon, NASA wanted to build space station orbiting around the Earth to keep military leadership. And what NASA wanted to build after Apollo might have been called a ‘space station.’ However, the project name brought huge dollar signs to the minds of the nation’s political leader at a time when the U.S. was pouring massive expenditures into the Vietnam War. Finally, in 1970, just three years before the launch of the space station, NASA decided to give it a name of laboratory.Opponents referred to it as ‘almost a programs’ or ‘apples, Apricots, and Pear’.
America's top military and civilian space scientists could not predict even roughly where Skylab would fall. When Skylab fell in the early morning hours of July 12, 1979, it was no longer responding to commands from controllers. It was the ultimate random shot. At first, relieved emergency officials in Canberra and elsewhere announced Skylab had fallen into the Indian Ocean off Australia's west coast.
The appearance of ‘astronaut group 4’ (scientist-astronaut) who were the fourth group of astronauts selected by NASA in 1965, may symbolized the coming of a new phase in the space flight effort. It certainly eventually led to a greater capacity for ‘science in space’ beyond ‘science of space’
The Space Science summer study was conducted under the auspices of the space science board of the national academy of sciences at the State University of Iowa during June 17 to August 10, 1962. the study was to examine the national program of basic research in space and its future objectives.The study first adressed the role of the astronaut in space science. Concerning the Apollo project, the study recommended “at least one crew member of each Apollo lunar mission to possess the maximum seientific ability and training consistent with his required contribution to spacecraft operations.”
The crews of Skylab2 project consist of Charles Conrad and Paul J. Weitz who were test pilots, and Joseph P. Kerwin selected in Group 4, who has a Doctor of Medicine degree. Even though their backgrounds were different, they obviously had a great team-work to conduct their repair mission and science experiment mission. However, interestingly, there was a subtle difference in their attitude and evaluation to the scientific practice in space; Cornard and Weitz (pilot-astronauts) put a great value in their scientific performance, while Kerwin (scientist-astronaut) showed a pessimistic view on it.Skylab's meteorite-and-sun shield and one of its solar arrays had torn loose during launch. Baker(2007), p.30
ContentsIntro : Exploration vs. Science1. Science-of-Space to Science-in-Space2. Space-craft as a Laboratory i. Acquiring a name of „LAB‟ ii. Skylab Falling Down3. Astronaut as a scientist i. Creating Scientist-Astronaut ii. Identity theirselvesOutro. Science as a Metaphor of Conquest
Intro : Exploration vs. Science Space, „site for Exploration‟ or „field for Science‟?
1. Science-of-Space to Science-in-Space Science-of-Space vs. Science-in-Space What am I doing here?
1. Science-of-Space to Science-in-Space How has space become a "field of scientists”, where they collect data and experiment? Skylab the Beginning of „Science-in-Space‟
SkylabThe United State‟s first space station.In Earth‟s orbit from 1973 to 1979.Visited by crews three times in 1973 and 1974. Explore Skylab Research Spacecraft Rocket-Modified-Lab Laboratory Pilot Scientist-Astronaut Scientist
2. Space-craft as a Laboratory - Acquiring a name of „LAB‟ From Apollo to Skylab Extended Apollo (Apollo X) Apollo Extension System (AES) Apollo Applications Program (AAP) : „Almost A Programs‟ ? „Apples, Apricots, and Pears‟ ? Skylab (1970)
2. Space-craft as a Laboratory - Acquiring a name of „LAB‟ Skylab, modified Apollo Rocket
2. Space-craft as a Laboratory - Skylab Falling Down A huge scientific instrument generating „permanent weightless‟ "Were balancing on a knife edge—but were not sure where the knife is." vs. “3,036hrs were used for experimental per formance in solar astronomy and Earth r esources experiments, medical studies, a nd educational experiments.” The fiery fall of the largest machin e man has ever hurled into space.
3. Astronaut as a Scientist - Creating Scientist-Astronaut „Astronaut group 4‟ (Scientist-Astronaut) Symbol of the coming of a new phase in the space flight effort. Eventually led to a greater capacity for „science in space‟ beyond „science of space‟
3. Astronaut as a Scientist - Creating Scientist-Astronaut The Report first addressed the role of the astronaut in space science (1962) Concerning the Apollo project, the study reco mmended : “At least one crew member of each Apollo lu nar mission to possess the maximum scientif ic ability and training consistent with his req uired contribution to spacecraft operations.” Designated such a man „scientist-astronaut‟. Fully trained both as a scientist and as an astronaut
3. Astronaut as a Scientist - Creating Scientist-Astronaut The four type of scientist in space mission 1. Scientist-astronaut: men who combine the experience and resourcefulnes s of trained scientist and trained astronaut 2. Scientist-passenger: experienced, mature scientists with adequate trainin g in critical and emergency space craft operations 3. Ground scientist: leading scientists in pertinent fields who collaborates wi th space craft personnel in the accomplishment of the scientific mission 4. Astronaut-observers: astronauts with varying degrees of special training in making scientific observation Explorer Researcher Pilot- Astronaut- Scientist- Scientist- Ground astronaut observer astronaut passenger scientist
3. Astronaut as a Scientist - Identity theirselves Dr. Kerwin: I do not believe that at this poi nt it is either demonstrably beneficial medic ally or cost effective. What I would like to w ork toward is to make space environment a vailable to normal people of reasonable he alth in all walks of life so that they can do u seful things up in space. Dr. Kerwin: We will be up there for a long ti me. I think you better put a 51st star on the flag. The crews of Skylab2 project: Joseph P. Kerwin selected in Group 4, who has a Doctor of Medicine degree. Charles Conrad and Paul J. Weitz who were test pilots,