Force Measuring Unit, Skylab

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This object is on display in the Space Race exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

This device was part of the Crew/Vehicle Disturbance experiment flown aboard the Skylab space station launched by the United States in 1973. The purpose of the experiment was to determine the effect of crew activities on the vehicle's stability by measuring the forces, torques, and vehicle motions caused by the astronauts' movements. As an astronaut stood on the unit or moved between units, precise measurements of his motions and resultant forces on the vehicle structure were sent the ground for comparison with vehicle attitude and pointing control data to analyze disturbances. This extra device was stowed aboard the backup Skylab orbital workshop that NASA transferred to the Museum.