ALSO RELEASEDAT NASA HEADQUARTERS
DATA ON THE ORBIT OF THE SKYLAB WORKSHOP
The latest data on the orbit of the Skylab Workshop indicates
that it will have descended to 150 nauticalmiles (173 statute miles,
278 kilometers)altitude and could begin reentry into the Earth's
atmosphereas early as late summer of 1979 and as late as the second
quarter of 1980.
NASA bases its predictionon data provided by the North American
Air Defense Command's (NORAD) satellitetrackingorganization,the
SmithsonianAstrophysicalObservatory,and the Swiss FederalObservatory.
NASA is working on plans that may extend the Skylab reentry
time, such as reactivationof the Skylab Workshop'sthrusterattitude
control system (TACS) to cause it to go into a very slow tumble which
would decrease the atmosphericdrag and perhaps add several months to
the orbital lifetim.
NASA will attempt this in spring of
In addition,the launch of a TeleoperatorRetrieval System
(TRS) on an early Space Shuttle mission, about October 1979 is being
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