September 16, 2021

This day in space! July 11, 1979-NASA’s abandoned Skylab space station crashed to Earth

On July 11, 1979, the abandoned US space station Skylab returned to Earth spectacularly. It burned in the atmosphere and ejected debris into the Indian Ocean and Western Australia.
The last group of astronauts left the space station in 1974. Over time, it began to deviate from orbit, slowly getting closer and closer to the earth. In fact, the Skylab returned to Earth earlier than NASA expected. This premature decline was attributed to strong solar storms, as solar activity warmed the earth’s atmosphere.
When debris from the Skylab burst in the atmosphere, residents and pilots in the area saw dozens of colorful flares resembling fireworks.
Skylab’s grave: the remains of Australia’s first US space station
Skylab: the first US space station (photo)
Skylab: How NASA’s first space station worked (infographic)
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