It is more than 50 years now since three astronauts on the Skylab 4 space mission famously fell out of control. The reports suggest them being on strike soon after the incident. However, Ed Gibson the only one alive from the crew says that the news of them stopping work is a myth.
Few facts about the Skylab 4 mission:
- Skylab 4 mission took 84 days which is the longest ever
- The mission involved – Ed Gibson, Jerry Carr and Bill Pogue
- Ed Gibson is the only member alive and is 84 years old
- Skylab 4 mission began in November 1973
- Ed Gibson is the last astronaut who is able to share the story
- Jerry Carr and Bill Pogue tool their last breaths at Carr last summer and Pogue in 2014
Skylab space station is a research platform which involves scientists are supported by astronauts. The platform studies the human body’s response to space flight by carrying our experiments and making observations from the Sun and Earth.
On 8 February 1974, the Skylab 4 crew splashed down into the Pacific Ocean which is right after completing their fourth and final spacewalk. Even though the workload remained heavy, the productivity record exceeded above 150%. The strike story remained unknown until their return to Earth. The story prevails in some recent reports referring to as “the mutiny in space”.
Ed Gibson expresses that the story remains to be crytal clear in his mind since the experience is one of a kind and rare. After the incident, the three astronauts remained on Earth and did not enter space again. However, Ed helped space programme to select and train other crews with his experience. Ed also admits that a few episodes at the incident hold lessons on micromanagement.
Ed Gibson says, “Our mission proved that micromanagement does not work, except where a situation like lift-off or re-entry demands it. Fortunately, that hard lesson got passed on for future space flights and crews.”