Page 10-Wednesday, July 11, 1979-The Michigan Daily
Skylab path goes over U.S.
(Continued from Page )
forward, the heaviest going all the way
into the Indian Ocean.
THE EIGHT-YOUR, 24-minute
prediction period embraces nearly six
orbits, all of them passing over the
United States at some point. On those
six orbits, Skylab also will pass over
South America, Africa and Australia,
effectively eliminating the rest of the
world from any danger of falling
debris, Smith said.
If the midpoint orbit turns out to be
the one in which Skylab falls, the space
station would begin burning somewhere
over the Pacific or the Northwest
United States and Canada.
But it will be daylight in the Western
Hemisphere and the flaming satellite
will not be visible.
STATISTICALLY, Skylab could
come down any time during the orbits
that precede and follow the mid-point.
If it broke apart at the first possible
moment allowed by NASA's
calculations - and the chances are
slim that it will - pieces of debris could
start falling at 7:32 a.m. EDT over
Egypt. The last possible chance for
debris would be six trips around the
world and some 150,000 miles later, at
4:14 p.m. EDT, nearing the west coast
of the United States.
Smith said that if the predicted time
frame is accurate the splashdown
would be "at regular banking hours if
TWENTY-FOUR hours before the
predicted splashdown time, Skylab was
orbiting at 107 miles. That's a drop of
more than 10 miles in 24 hours.
When Skylab hits the 10-mile point,
the tube-shaped craft will begin to glow
from the heat of re-entry. At about 70
miles it will begin to break apart.
Ten pieces, each weighing more than
a half-ton, are expected to be among the
500 pieces that survive the flaming re-
IN ANN ARBOR, someone painted the Rock at Washtenaw Ave. and Hill St. (above) perhaps hoping to catch the attention
of the falling space station Skylab. Near the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the "Welcome Home, Skylab" committee
and local promotional group M3 constructed a cushiony glove (below) to soften the blow for Skylab.
NASA HAS teams standing by to rush
anywhere on the globe if there are
reports of damage or injury, and the
Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) is prepared to warn airplanes
out of Skylab's track in the last few
Smith said that it looked as if no
maneuver would be needed to keep
Skylab in orbit longer. The orbits
covered by the 10-hour predicted span
are mostly over water.
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