Collection Item Summary:
This one-half of the solar shield from a backup unit for the Apollo Telescope Mount. This assembly was the main scientific platform aboard Skylab, the first manned space observatory, which was placed in orbit in 1973. It was occupied over eight months by three successive crews. Built by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, the telescope mount was attached to Skylab's Multiple Docking Adapter. It held eight major scientific instruments and several smaller experiments that were operated from within Skylab. Astronauts used the instrument s to study the Sun's surface and atmosphere in visible and ultraviolet light, as well as by x-ray emission. Most of the instruments recorded data on photographic film, which the astronauts replaced as needed.
NASA transferred the telescope mount to NASM in 1982. It was displayed in the Stars gallery from then until the exhibit closed in 1997.