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examined. The TRS would be carried into orbit by the Shuttle, removed

from the Shuttle payload bay and flown by remote control to dock with

Skylab. Once docked, a propulsionsystem on TRS could be operated

either to raise the Skylab orbit or to cause it to reenter the atmosphere

in a controlledfashion to a remote ocean area of the Earth below.

(TRS is part of NASA's Fiscal 1979 Budget proposalnow before the

Congress.)

Skylab is the largest payload in Earth orbit. It weighs 85 tons

and is about 96 feet long. The main portion is cylindrical,22 feet in

diameter.

Skylab on descendinginto the Earth's atmosphereis expected

to break up and burn during descent. Some debris is expected to

survive the reentry and reach the Earth's surface. It is probable that

any survivingdebris would land in an ocean since 80 per cent of l:he

Earth beneath the Skylab orbit is water. In orbit, Skylab is passing

above the area of Earth between 50 degrees north and 50 degrees south

latitude.

Skylab was launched in May 1973 and was manned during three

missions by three different astronautcrews. The last crew departed

Skylab February8, 1974 at an altitudeof 237 nauticalmiles (273 sm,

440 km). Skylab presently is 220 nauticalmiles (253 sm, 408 km) above Earth.

At the time the final crew departedNASA estimated that the

orbitingworkshopwould remain in space until 1983. However, since ( more )

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