Encyclopedia Astronautica
1972.11.24 - Skylab debris situation reviewed.


The Skylab debris situation was reviewed with emphasis on the S-IVB stages of Skylab 2, 3, and 4. It was decided that the S-IVB for these missions would be deorbited into the Pacific Ocean on an early revolution.

The deorbit would be achieved by controlled venting of the S-IVB, dumping propellants through the main engine to provide sufficient retrovelocity for reentry. The capability to perform the deorbit would be evaluated and determined during flight; however, execution of the maneuver would be controlled from the ground. (The deorbit technique was the same used on early Earth-orbit Apollo missions.)

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