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  • Skylab


    Skylab was a United States space station launched and operated by NASA, and occupied for about 24 weeks between May 1973 and February 1974 – the only space station the U.S. has operated exclusively. In 1979 it fell back to Earth amid huge worldwide media attention. Skylab included a workshop, a solar observatory, and other systems necessary for crew survival and scientific experiments. It was launched unmanned by a modified Saturn V rocket, with a weight of . Lifting Skylab into low earth orbit was the final mission and launch of a Saturn V rocket (famous for carrying the manned Moon landing missions). Three missions delivered three-astronaut crews in the Apollo command and service module (Apollo CSM), launched by the smaller Saturn IB rocket. For the final two manned missions to Skylab, a backup Apollo CSM/Saturn IB was assembled and made ready in case an in-orbit rescue mission was needed, but this backup vehicle was never flown. The station was damaged during launch when the micrometeoroid shield tore away from the workshop, taking one of the main solar panel arrays with it and jamming the other main array. This deprived Skylab of most of its electrical power, and also removed protection from intense solar heating, threatening to make it unusable. The first crew was able to save Skylab by deploying a replacement heat shade and freeing the jammed solar panels. This was the first time a repair of this magnitude had been performed in space. Skylab included the Apollo Telescope Mount (a multi-spectral solar observatory), Multiple Docking Adapter (with two docking ports), Airlock Module with extravehicular activity (EVA) hatches, and the Orbital Workshop (the main habitable space inside Skylab). Electrical power came from solar arrays, as well as fuel cells in the docked Apollo CSM. The rear of the station included a large waste tank, propellant tanks for maneuvering jets, and a heat radiator. Numerous experiments were conducted aboard Skylab during its operational life. Solar science was significantly advanced by the telescope, and observation of the Sun was unprecedented. Thousands of photographs of Earth were taken, and the Earth Resources Experiment Package (EREP) viewed Earth with sensors that recorded data in the visible, infrared, and microwave spectral regions. The record for human time spent in orbit was extended beyond the 23 days set by the Soyuz 11 crew aboard Salyut 1, to 84 days by the Skylab 4 crew. Later plans to reuse Skylab were stymied by delays in development of the Space Shuttle, and Skylab's decaying orbit could not be stopped. Skylab's atmospheric reentry began on July 11, 1979. Before re-entry, NASA ground controllers tried to adjust Skylab's orbit to minimize the risk of debris landing in populated areas, with their target—the south Indian Ocean—partially successful. Debris showered Western Australia; recovered pieces indicated that the station had disintegrated lower than expected. As the Skylab program drew to a close, NASA's focus had shifted to the development of the Space Shuttle. After Skylab, NASA space station/laboratory projects included Spacelab, Shuttle-Mir, and Space Station Freedom (which was later merged into the International Space Station).

  • NASA


    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA ) is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. NASA was established in 1958, succeeding the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The new agency was to have a distinctly civilian orientation, encouraging peaceful applications in space science. Since its establishment, most US space exploration efforts have been led by NASA, including the Apollo Moon landing missions, the Skylab space station, and later the Space Shuttle. NASA is supporting the International Space Station and is overseeing the development of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, the Space Launch System and Commercial Crew vehicles. The agency is also responsible for the Launch Services Program which provides oversight of launch operations and countdown management for unmanned NASA launches.

  • Stroke recovery


    The primary goals of stroke management are to reduce brain injury and promote maximum patient recovery. Rapid detection and appropriate emergency medical care are essential for optimizing health outcomes. When available, patients are admitted to an acute stroke unit for treatment. These units specialize in providing medical and surgical care aimed at stabilizing the patient's medical status. Standardized assessments are also performed to aid in the development of an appropriate care plan. Current research suggests that stroke units may be effective in reducing in-hospital fatality rates and the length of hospital stays. Once a patient is medically stable, the focus of their recovery shifts to rehabilitation. Some patients are transferred to in-patient rehabilitation programs, while others may be referred to out-patient services or home-based care. In-patient programs are usually facilitated by an interdisciplinary team that may include a physician, nurse, pharmacist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech and language pathologist, psychologist, and recreation therapist. The patient and their family/caregivers also play an integral role on this team. Family/caregivers that are involved in the patient care tend to be prepared for the caregiving role as the patient transitions from rehabilitation centers. While at the rehabilitation center, the interdisciplinary team makes sure that the patient attains their maximum functional potential upon discharge. The primary goals of this sub-acute phase of recovery include preventing secondary health complications, minimizing impairments, and achieving functional goals that promote independence in activities of daily living. In the later phases of stroke recovery, patients are encouraged to participate in secondary prevention programs for stroke. Follow-up is usually facilitated by the patient’s primary care provider. The initial severity of impairments and individual characteristics, such as motivation, social support, and learning ability, are key predictors of stroke recovery outcomes. Responses to treatment and overall recovery of function are highly dependent on the individual. Current evidence indicates that most significant recovery gains will occur within the first 12 weeks following a stroke.

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