What 170,000-pound object crashed to Earth today in 1979?


by / July 8, 2011

Answer: Skylab

Skylab was America's first space station. It was operational from 1973 to 1979. Its scheduled re-entry piqued global interest and ignited a number of bets and contests as to where debris would land. Aiming for the Indian Ocean, ground controllers at NASA miscalculated and pieces of Skylab fell to the ground near Perth, Australia. Stan Thornton, a 17-year-old from Esperance, Australia, won $10,000 from the San Francisco Examiner for being the first person to bring a piece of the space station to the paper's office. Esperance officials also fined the United States $400 for littering.

Chad Vander Veen

Chad Vander Veen is the former editor of FutureStructure.


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