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Supplemental release to Skylab reactivation release

DRAFT

Charles Redmond 5111

June 13, 1978

SUNSPOTS AND THE ORBIT OF THE SKYLAB

The idea of sunspots affecting the orbital altitude of a

space

station

situated

several

hundred

miles

above

the

Earth

is

difficult

for

non-experts

to

comprehend.

The

popular

idea

is

that

the atmosphere quits about 100 miles up and beyond that lies the

vacuum of space.

Actually the Earth's atmosphere continues well into space

with

varying

densities

according

to

altitude.

The

troposphere,

or weather layer, extends to 13 kilometers and is the atmospheric

most

affects

other

tenuous

layer

which

lie

several

our

daily

layers.

lives.

Perhaps

Beyond

the

troposphere

the

most

well

known

of these is the ionosphere, which begins at about 60 kilometers

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