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History: 50 years ago, Centralia’s Chance Co. helped save Skylab

Posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2023 at 8:36 am

Editor’s note, in honor of this event we decided to reprint the original article from the Fireside Guard’s June 14, 1973 article by

Arlene Thornley

Cliff Bosch, product manager for the A. B. Chance Company, has had his belief in our country’s space program revitalized since his recent experiences in providing tools for the Skylab program now underway.

  The enthusiasm of the engineers working on the astronauts’ problems in space is inspiring, said Cliff “they will work 20 to 22 hours a day to iron out a problem, no matter how small”.

  The first emergency repair work done in space was done last week by a simple cable-cutter listed in the standard A. B. Chance Company catalog as Model C-403-0689.

  The tool, ordinarily used to cut energized electrical cable while leaving the power on, was modified slightly for its trip into space.  The working part of the tool remained the same, but changes had to be made to the handle to accommodate its use in the Skylab operation and to make it collapsible for traveling.

For the complete article, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard

Retired Chance Co. senior design engineer Marvin McKelvy with the Historical Society’s Chance/Sklylab display. Listen below to him discuss the project.