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attitudereference and control system in order to determine the space
station'sattitude and possiblymodifying it.
One of the possibilitiesis change the orientationof Skylab
in a manner which will reduce atmosphericdrag and possiblyadd some
months to its orbital lifetime.
Current NASA predictionsindicatethat the Skylab will enter the
atmospheresometimebetween early summer 1979 and the second quarter
of 1980. NASA is hopeful it will be able to rendezvouswith Skylab
on a Space Shuttle test flight in October 1979, to remotelymaneuver a
propulsionstage to dock with Skylab and use this stage to either propel
Skylab to a higher orbit for future use or to cause it to reenter the
atmospherein a controlledmanner to insure that debris would land in a remote area of an ocean.
The first attempt to communicatewith Skylab will be when it is
over Bermuda and in the sunlight.
Flight controllersplan to turn on the Skylab Airlock Module-Orbital
Workshop telemetrylink, evaluate it and turn it off on the first pass.
On a subsequentpass they will repeat the above procedureand also
turn on the Apollo Telescope Mount telemetrylink and evaluate it, then
turn it off.