TODAY IN HISTORY - SKYLAB COMES CRASHING DOWN
Space stations today seems to be a normal technological feat. Let me walk you down to the days when it was not that common and one actually crashed out of the sky.
Skylab was the United States' space station that orbited the Earth from 1973 to 1979, when it fell back to Earth amid huge worldwide media attention. Launched and operated by NASA , Skylab included
a workshop, a solar observatory, and other systems necessary for crew survival and scientific experiments. It was launched unmanned by a modified Saturn V rocket, with a weight of 170,000
pounds (77,000 kg).
Parts of Skylab, America’s official first space station, crashed down on Australia and some parts into the Indian Ocean just only five years after the last manned Skylab mission ended. There was no reported injury, so its safe to say No one was injured in the incident. Skylab Launched in 1973, was the world’s first successfully launched space station. The first manned Skylab mission was two years after the launch of Salynut 1 by soviet union, the world’s first space station, sent into orbit around the earth. However, compared to the ill-fated Salynut, which was a bag of problems, the American space station was indeed a great success. It safely housed three separate three-man crews for quite long periods of time.
This cylindrical space station was about 118 feet tall, and weighed about 77 tons. It carried the most varied assortment of equipment used for experimental purpose ever assembled in a single space station to that date. The crews of the Skylab spent more than approximately 700 hours observing the sun and surroundings, they brought home more than 100,000 pictures of space. They also provided important information relating to the biological effects of living in space for extended periods of time.
Five years after the last mission on skylab was executed, the space station began to deteriorate in its orbit. This was quite earlier than was calculated/anticipated. The reason for this was traced to unexpectedly high sunspot activity. On the 11th of July 1979, Skylab made a stunning and spectacular return back to earth, breaking up in the atmosphere and raining burning metalic debris over Australia and Indian ocean.