On This day 37 Years Ago – Skylab tumbles back to Earth

On 11th July 1979 Skylab plunged to Earth scattering debris across the southern Indian Ocean and sparsely populated areas of Western Australia.

Skylab was launched on 14th May 1973 and was lived in by three teams of astronauts for periods of up to 84 days as they tested human endurance over long periods of weightlessness. While the astronauts were on board they were able to carry out many valuable scientific experiments including analysis of the sun’s activity and how it affected the Earth. Skylab was abandoned by the last crew in February 1974 and since then NASA has only had a limited control over it. It was supposed to stay in orbit until the mid-1980s when the new shuttle would have come to its rescue. The 77.5 ton Skylab probably broke into as many as 500 pieces. Most of the pieces found were on a strip of land about 100 miles (160 km) wide between the Perth-Adelaide highway and the Indian Pacific railway line which connects east and west Australia. Read more […]

There has  been a growing amount of space junk in orbit around the Earth since then – a mixture of everything from spent rocket stages, derelict satellites, chunks of busted up spacecraft down to paint chips, springs and bolts. A satellite crash in February 2009 was the first accidental high velocity crash between two intact satellites in Earth orbit and the chances of space junk destroying live satellites or manned spacecraft is growing by the year. Something needs to be done on an international scale to clean up space junk before it is too late! Read more […]

On 11th July 1979 Skylab plunged to Earth scattering debris across the southern Indian Ocean and sparsely populated areas of Western Australia.
On 11th July 1979 Skylab plunged to Earth scattering debris across the southern Indian Ocean and sparsely populated areas of Western Australia.
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