Skylab Medical Experiments Altitude Test (SMEAT)

Permanent URI for this collection

In 1971, Dr. Thornton, along with astronauts Karol Bobko and Bob Crippen, participated in the Skylab Medical Experiments Altitude Test (SMEAT); a 56-day simulation of a Skylab mission. SMEAT’s main objective was to evaluate equipment and procedures proposed for use during the Skylab missions. The Skylab Program provided a unique laboratory for the study of physiological change produced in man by long term residence in space. The astronauts participated in tests that simulated space experiments, housekeeping, and leisure activities in a hypobaric chamber. The crew reported having experienced multiple urine leaks; all of their shoes fell apart; and problems with their food included unclear instructions for preparation and crumbs or fluids escaping the containers when opened. Virtually all of the logistics, which would be found in Skylab, required extensive planning to be successfully accomplished in space.