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Homesteading SpaceHomesteading Space

The Skylab Story

David Hitt, Owen Garriott, Joe Kerwin and Alan Bean

Narrated by Gary Willprecht

Available from Audible

Book published by University of Nebraska Press

As the United States and the Soviet Union went from exploring space to living in it, a space station was conceived as the logical successor to the Apollo moon program. But between conception and execution stood the vastness of space itself, to say nothing of the monumental technological challenges. Homesteading Space, by two of Skylab’s own astronauts and a NASA journalist, tells the dramatic story of America’s first space station from beginning to fiery end.

Homesteading Space is much more than a story of technological and scientific success; it is also an absorbing, sometimes humorous, often inspiring account of the determined, hardworking individuals who shepherded the program through a near-disastrous launch, a heroic rescue, an exhausting study of Comet Kohoutek, and the lab's ultimate descent into the Indian Ocean. Featuring the unpublished in-flight diary of astronaut Alan Bean, the book is replete with the personal recollections and experiences of the Skylab crew and those who worked with them in training, during the mission, and in bringing them safely home.

David Hitt is a journalist, writer, and editor for NASA Educational Technology Services. He is the coauthor of Homesteading Space: The Skylab Story.

Owen Garriott is a former NASA astronaut—and one of the first six scientist-astronauts selected in 1965. He was stationed on Skylab in 1973 and later flew STS-9, the first international Spacelab mission.

Joe Kerwin flew on the first Skylab mission in 1973.

Alan Bean is the former spacecraft commander of Skylab 3 and became the fourth man to walk on the moon in 1969.


“A worthy account of an important but largely forgotten program.... For those who would like to learn more about the achievement, Homesteading Space offers valuable personal recollections from those who were there.”

Air & Space

“A well-told saga of Skylab from start to fiery fall.”

—Coalition for Space Exploration

“Published here for the first time, Alan Bean’s diary, added to voice transcripts of space walks, produces the you-are-there immediacy that buffs crave.”


Homesteading Space is not just about the scientific knowledge that was obtained in orbit—this is the story of the astronauts who conducted the experiments, who lived in space for weeks or months at a time, and how they coped.”

—Andrew J. Liptak, Worlds in a Grain of Sand blog

“The success of our nation's first space station did not come easily. The challenges were met with vision, courage, and competence. Those who personified these traits forcefully and honestly tell their stories here unfiltered by writers or press. The result is both historically significant and a great read.”

—Ed Gibson, Skylab III science pilot and author

All titles are published by:
University Press Audiobooks
an imprint of Redwood Audiobooks

University Press Audiobooks