When the US Space Station Skylab crashed over Australia, the US got fined for littering. The amount was so ridiculous they never paid!

When the US Space Station Skylab crashed over Australia, the US got fined for littering. The amount was so ridiculous they never paid!

In the 1970's, NASA created the first and only United States Space Station Skylab. It featured a workshop, a solar observatory among many other programs. The Skylab orbited the Earth for six years and had several problems during those years.

Over time, several manned missions had to go to the Skylab to fix on-going problems. After six years, NASA decided it was time to return the Skylab back to Earth. NASA was having some trouble with the positioning of where the Skylab would land and warned countries that there may be debris. NASA was originally hoping that the Skylab would come through the Earth's atmosphere so quickly that it would burn up before it hit anything on Earth.

In 1979, NASA launched the re-entry mission in hopes that it would land south of Cape Town, in a non-populated area. Unfortunately, there was a four percent error and the debris was headed southeast of Perth in Western Australia and did not burn up as quickly as NASA had calculated.

The residents were notified of the debris and it instantly became a media frenzy. Radio station started to offer money to people who got hit or brought in pieces of debris. As the Skylab entered the atmosphere, it was reported that you could see what looked like fireworks in the sky. Australian official took note of the debris and charged The United States with a littering fine of $400! Several decades later, America has still not paid the littering fine.

(Source)

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