Weekly Space Hangout: March 30, 2022: Searching for Skylab, “America’s Forgotten Triumph” with Director Dwight Steven-Boniecki

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This week we are airing Fraser’s pre-recorded interview with award-winning author, and documentary director Dwight Steven-Boniecki. Dwight is the director of a film called Searching For Skylab – a largely forgotten story that tells the story of the space station that preceded the ISS. The documentary features never-before-seen footage revealing incredible feats of science and technology achieved by the space station and NASA astronauts. While Skylab is perhaps best remembered for its spectacular crash into the Australian desert in the summer of 1979, the missions themselves provided the scientific community with invaluable information about our planet, the sun, space, and the universe itself.

Dwight was born in Sydney, Australia in 1969 a few months before man walked on the moon. He spent much of his childhood fascinated with space exploration – growing up in the shadow of Apollo and under the direct influence of science fiction films such as Star Wars. The latter shaping his desire to work in the film/television industry.

After studying television theory at North Sydney Technical College he moved to San Diego, USA. He returned to Australia and worked in TV before heading back to university where he majored in Psychology. Following his studies he decided that television was where he truly wanted to be and returned to the TV industry. From there he heard about the expansion on satellite TV in Eastern Europe and jumped on a plane to work in Europe: first in Great Britain, and then in Germany – where he still works today as a transmission engineer.

All the while, his interest in space exploration never left him. The advance of DVDs and the internet saw him revisiting the missions he recalled watching as a young child. While watching the missions again, he began to wonder about the technology behind the images he was watching, and so he began researching the television systems developed by NASA mainly to satisfy his own curiosity. To his dismay he discovered that while the information was available, it was not easy to access, and had never been comprehensively written about. He set about to change that, and ended up writing his first book, “Live TV From the Moon”. Along the way he befriended many of the people who were directly involved in building the TV cameras which transmitted arguably the most important television signals ever received on planet earth – and is proud to have been able to tell their story.

Learn all about Searching for Skylab on the project’s webpage where you can watch trailers as well as purchase your own copy of the movie and other memorabilia. You can also follow on Twitter.

You can learn more about Dwight on his website.

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