Today in The BBC's Skylab: The myth of the mutiny in space it says:
The Skylab space station was a research platform in orbit where astronauts helped scientists to study the human body's response to space flight, carried out experiments and made observations of the Sun and Earth. Skylab 4 was the final mission and as a result it had a long list of tasks to fulfil.
The 84-day mission - the longest ever at that point - was on a tight schedule. Nasa was very concerned about someone getting sick, which would have meant losing precious time.
Nasa accepts that mission planners had not given the crew the typical period of adjustment to acclimatise to working weightlessly in orbit and had packed their schedules with large amounts of work. The number of spacewalks was also doubled, to four, to observe a newly discovered comet, Kohoutek.
Answers to Is the Skylab 4 mutiny just a myth? cover a lot of background on the "mutiny" question, as does the BBC article. But my question is about the last sentence which states that two extra spacewalks were scheduled in order to observe comet Kohoutek.
It surprises me because spacewalks are time and resource consuming and dangerous and I can't imagine one would be scheduled just so someone could say "yep, there it is!" and because a few billion people could do that on Earth as well!
Question: Did Skylab astronauts really "go outside" on a spacewalk to look at comet Kohoutek? If so, why?
The Skylab 4 crew on the radio to Czech astronomer Lubos Kohoutek, who gave his name to the comet