Skylab's week-long anniversary celebration

The Esperance community spent last week celebrating 40 years since the town made international headlines after the American space station Skylab returned to Earth and left debris scattered from Esperance to Balladonia.

The anniversary celebration was more than a year in the making, with Esperance Museum cultural officer Lynda Horn and volunteers working tirelessly to establish partnerships for the program and host an array of activities for all ages.

The week-long anniversary commenced with the opening of the 'Skylab ReDux - Out of Orbit' exhibition at the Cannery Arts Centre on Sunday, July 7, with artist David Carson.

On Thursday morning, July 11, Esperance man and former Shire of Esperance president Merv Andre hosted a 'History Half Hour' at the Esperance Museum with a focus on Skylab.

Later that evening, the Esperance Civic Centre hosted the Australian premiere of the documentary 'Searching for Skylab'.

The screening saw more than 300 people fill the Civic Centre, including the film's director Dwight Steven-Boniecki.

The feature documentary is the first to be made about Skylab, highlighting the contribution of the Skylab program to future space exploration through interviews with those involved.

The screening was also a momentous occasion for Esperance Primary School student Konii Rowland, with the screening of her pre-recorded interview with Skylab astronaut Edward Gibson.

Esperance Primary School student Konii Rowland. Photo: Jesinta Burton.

Esperance Primary School student Konii Rowland. Photo: Jesinta Burton.

The nine-year-old received the opportunity after entering the competition at school and being chosen by a panel of seven Esperance Museum volunteers.

Konii took a front row seat at the screening, alongside her mother and Mr Steven-Boniecki.

Following the screening, Mr Steven-Boniecki thanked the Esperance community for its hospitality, saying he had been overwhelmed by the response to the film and had never felt more welcome anywhere in the world.

On Friday evening, July 12, the Esperance Museum hosted a Skylab Styles Fashion Parade - a recycled art competition in partnership with the Shire of Esperance's Waste and Recycling department.

Esperance Primary School student and competition winner Konii Rowland alongside 'Searching for Skylab' director Dwight Steven-Boniecki. Photo: Jesinta Burton.

Esperance Primary School student and competition winner Konii Rowland alongside 'Searching for Skylab' director Dwight Steven-Boniecki. Photo: Jesinta Burton.

The competition saw 12 models don their Skylab creations, and attendees embrace the 1970s theme.

Layla Bowkett took out the Big Bang prize for the Comet category, with Ezra Boucher receiving the Shooting Star prize.

In the Meteorite category, Amy Clarke was awarded the Big Bang prize and Caitlyn Edwards received the Shooting Star prize.

The Museum, which is home to about 30 Skylab fragments, remained open across the weekend.