Science: Saving Skylab

Can NASA keep the giant spacecraft in orbit?

It is the largest, most sophisticated spacecraft ever built. Launched in May 1973 it was occupied by three different teams of astronauts in succession, one of which remained aloft for 84-days, a space endurance record that was not broken until this March by two Soviet cosmonauts. Now the 85-ton Skylab, unused by astronauts since 1974 but still circling 389 km (242 miles) above the earth every 90 minutes, is in deep trouble. Gradually moving lower, it may enter the atmosphere and disintegrate by November 1979 or...

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