The Kokomo Tribune from Kokomo, Indiana on July 8, 1979 · Page 37
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The Kokomo Tribune from Kokomo, Indiana · Page 37

Kokomo, Indiana
Issue Date:
Sunday, July 8, 1979
Page 37
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^^ — »»"MMMjr, JUIJT o, i Try NASA: Skylab probably wilt fall Wednesday ^WASHINGTON (AP> — A« im «,».»»»•»!..._...j c_,_ . L ..._.. <*f I i 9 i i —Skylab 5 break-up Sunday, July 8, 1979 Kokomo (Ind.) Tribune 37 WASHINGTON (AP) _ At rti es up, Skylab will begin to glow fiSfSSStfS* "? at U has »**««! S?h£ d ?& dl i: e lnto Earth's thick- 2 rfLrt™? S 1 here ,- At * m "«*. It W «JJ begin to break apart «n N * a J'°, nal Aeronautics and Space Administration says the 8 ' hi happen this i to our planet week, probably ay and Thursday says. Possibilities, NASA , p ' r8tl ,V ) ri P awa V will be the four windmill-shaped solar wings atop a telescope mount, followed by a sing e large solar panel on the side of the craft. -Then, streaming flames like a meteor, Skyiab will lose its telescope mount at 60 miles. Next to fall a.way will be a section containing a control center and a spaceship docking port. »hJ h 5o!r ar ? e 1 t part of the station, the 48-foot long workshop where H !^ e C », ew , s of astr °nauts once lived, will blaze into a fireball at 55 miles. Its aluminum skin will incinerate, and aerodynamic forces will tear away the laboratory, bedrooms, kitchen and equipment used by the spacemen. As Skylab disintegrates, fragments will break down into smaller fragments. Most-will burn up. But about 20 minutes after the plunge begins, the first of about 500 pieces expected to survive will strike the Earth;,. LJSMf s °f debris weighing from a pound to 2^ tons will continue fall- ing.for 40 minutes over an area 4,- OQQ:miles long and 100 miles wide. The space agency says that no more than three pieces will fall in any lOQSquare-mile zone. : The Surviving debris will weigh a tQUQ of about 40,000 pounds. The largest' parts expected to make it through the searing descent are a 3,900-DOund lead safe used to protect the astronauts' film from radiation and a 5,000-pound titanium airlock shroud. NASA officials have repeatedly tried to assure the people of the world that chances of injury or damage are extremely slim. They say the odds against anyone at all being hit are 152 to one. The odds against a particular individual being'struck are 600 billion to one, they say. JJASA released maps Friday showing areas of the world which wJH be in the path of Skylab Wednesday. But they merely suggested what cities could be in the path. No one will know until the final minutes when and where the behemoth will break up. And if it happens In a remote area where there is no ground radar tracking, the exact location may never be known precisely. "It could appear on one radar screen and not be there when It passes over the next tracking station," said Richard G. Smith, head of NASA's Skylab task force. Just in case parts of the station hit populated areas, several U.S. government agencies have made elaborate plans to deal with possible emergencies. As the end nears for Skylab, a. •task force of about 20 people will man a .command center in a windowless room at NASA headquarters here. Included will be representatives of the White House, the departments of State, Justice and Defense, NASA and the Federal Preparedness Agency. Starting 24 hours before the predicted re-entry time, they will receive up-to-the-minute information on a hot line from the North American Air Defense Command, which is tracking Skylab from an underground base in the Colorado mountains. Smith said a person inside a home or automobile would be safe from most of .the Skylab debris. The State Department will alert foreign countries which might be threatened. It is particularly important to notify the Soviet Union, so that its warning systems won't mistake a piece of Skylab for an incoming ballistic missile. If NORAD's late predictions indicate Skylab might leave orbit on a path that would take it over heavily- populated areas, NASA may have a chance to send commands to the station's six nitrogen gas thrusters, tilting it slightly to increase atmospheric drag. This could delay the demise by several hours. The move would be made only if Skylab's decaying control systems are operating and if the procedure would succeed in bringing the lab down on an orbital path with lower population. Smith said that if anyone finds a hunk of Skylab, NASA would like to be notified by phone or mail where it came down. But the finder is welcome to keep it. However, if there is an injury or damage claim filed, the agency wants to examine the debris involved to verify that it is indeed a part of Skylab. Lafayette residents find objects—from Skylab? LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — A piece of Skylab? A spokesman for the National Aeronautical and Space Administration said it couldn't be. So did police and fire department authorities. But used-car dealer Harold Cohen, who saw it drop to Earth, was convinced it was a piece of the doomed space station. "It wasn't my imagination. Everyone decided it came from the sky," he said of the eight-inch, rod- shaped piece of metal that dropped into his lot Friday. ."We didn't go near it for a few minutes. It was warm," he added. About the same time an object described as a ball of rags about the size of a volleyball and covered with fluid "kerplopped out of the ail* near J.M. Bloom's furniture company. . 'jjt just had to fall from the sky," he "We looked on our roof, and there was no one there. We called next door, and they said no one had been on their roof." Another witness said when it hit the ground "it sounded like someone making a bellywhopper in a pool." Fire officials were called to the furniture store. Assistant Chief Marvin Anthrop said the ball-shaped thing smelted of furniture polish. Anthrop said there had been no other such reports. NASA official Linda Dougherty, contacted Jn_in_ Huntsville,_Ak. 1 laughed when asked if the objects could have dropped from the giant space station expected to fall from orbit sometime next week. She said they probably weren't from Skylab which is still in one piece, circling about 138 miles above the earth. Its projected path at the time of the fall won't put it anywhere over North America, she added. William Fleetemeyer, director of the Purdue University Airport in neighboring West Lafayette, said he had heard no reports of mysterious falling objects. "I'm puzzled. I haven't heard of anything, falling from airplanes. But anything is possible. A tool could have been left on a wing," he said. Cohen said the flying rod "scared the life out of me. It landed right in front of me. It definitely fell from the air. We were 150 feet from the street, so it couldn't have come from a car. If that's what Skylab is going to be like, then I don't want to go out when it happens." 1. Solar panels 2. Telescope mount 3. Multiple docking adapter 4. Instruments deck 5. Workship & living quarters Some find Skylab good for 'Skylaughs' By Jim Carrier Associated Press writer Even something like the fall of Skylab can't squelch Americans' humor. Some, with an "it-can't-happen-here" attitude, are daring Skylab to hit them; others are laughing all the way to the bank. One neighborhood near Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, Neb., painted a huge target in the middle of its cul-de-sac street. "Maybe Skylab will fall here. We thought we'd give it something to aim for," said resident Patty Stahl. Ken Peterson of Minneapolis threw a Skylab party where guests wore helmets, carried butterfly nets and ate a cake complete with space capsule crashing into the icing. A Minneapolis Tribune cartoonist, noting that Skylab carried a supply of mashed potatoes and pudding, recommended a Skylab splat- down picnic: "Supply your guests with spoons and bowls and wait for the fun to begin." Skylab, scheduled to break up in the atmosphere between July 10 and July 13, also has brought out the entrepreneurs. Stores in Montgomery, Ala., were selling 8-ounce bottles of "Skylab Repellent" with a money-back guarantee. For those actually struck by a piece of the 77-ton vehi- cle, the stores had "Skylab Impact Balm." And in Atlanta a local radio station gave away T-shirts labeled "Official Skylab Targets" with imprinted bull's eyes. Its promotion said: "Think of the fame, think of the glory — think of the mess." A firm in Kansas City is thinking" of the money. Seat-ofthe-Pants Management has sold 12,000 paper Skylab Helmets at $2 apiece. The company stresses that the headwear doesn't protect you from falling Skylab parts, but you'll be 'appropriately dressed for this once-in-a-lifetime event/' Songwriter Mike Nobil of Gorham, Maine, has penned a ditty that advises: "Learn to do the Skylab hop, and you'll be safer when she drops ... The reason for this dance is this, a movin' target's harder to hit." Skylab, despite warnings to the contrary, should be treated as a joke, says University of Minnesota physics professor Cecil Waddington, who scoffs at fears of danger to humans. Viewing Skylab WASHINGTON — A visitor at the Smithsonian Institution's Air and Space Museum examines a model of the Skylab space station in Washington Behind is a sister ship of the Spacecraft, which is currently falling to earth (AP photo) l Approximate Skylab orbit for July 11,1979 K 180° 90° no fo 559 .1*31 <303 't135_ 10Q7v 0839\0711\054 0414.. 0246\ OltSX 2350*0 2222y 20S4\ 1855X 172 n .J V VK^X / V/'l—ifc-7 ^ JV \ / X—JTT- 0 90' In Person... "TRACER" Today, July 8th In Our Record Dept. 1 to 2:30 Meet The Group In Person They Will Sigh Autographs Record Special Our Reg. '5.94

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