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Skylab fined for littering – there is no statute of limitations on dodgy de-orbits

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In 1979, the NASA space station Skylab returned to Earth in a fiery trail of destruction after 5 years of swanning about in orbit sans crew. Well the folks in Esperance in Western Australia didn’t take too kindly to this wanton littering and so Esperance fined NASA $AU400 for their sloppy aeronautics. Just a bit of fun really.

Not much else happened after that, NASA ignored the fine, tourists enquired about it, footnotes got added to Wikipedia and it was pretty much forgotten. That is until April 2009 when American DJ Scott Barley from Highway Radio paid the fine on NASA’s behalf after raising the funds on his breakfast radio show. Esperance declined to cash the cheque choosing instead to frame it as a fitting book-end to a quirky little tale.

[Photo via The Esperance Express]

Tags: skylab, skylab+fined+for+littering, esperance+skylab+fine

Dan Ferris is the Red Ferret’s Oceanic correspondent and Associate Editor based in Sydney, Australia. Despite not knowing Russell Crowe or Nicole Kidman, Dan has risen above adversity and now scours the world for interesting tidbits to write about. He spends far too much time photographing stuff and tinkering with computers.

Dan – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.


1 Comment

  • Watch out Aussies – we'll be de-orbiting Hubble in another 4-6 years……

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