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News

NationaAeronauhcand SpaceAdministration

LyndonB.JohnsonSpaceCenter Houston.Texa77058

AC713 483-5111

Robert Gordon

ForRetease

RELEASENO: 78-06

February 3,

1978

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

197.

In addition,the launch of a TeleoperatorRetrieval System

(TRS) on an early Space Shuttle mission, about October 1979 is being

( more )

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