Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

NASA's Skylab $400 Littering Fine Paid By DJ

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the you-gonna-pick-that-up? dept.

NASA 111

astroengine writes "Space Disco speaks with a Californian radio DJ about his role in raising, and paying, NASA's 30-year old littering fine levied by a Western Australian town. Skylab parts fell on Esperance in 1979, but the space agency's refusal to pay $400 has resulted in an entertaining annual grudge. Now the Barstow radio DJ is guest of honor at this weekend's 30th anniversary celebrations in Oz and the two small towns at opposite ends of the Pacific will be twinned... all because Skylab had a messy re-entry..."

cancel ×

111 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Wait Until NASA Is Fined For +1, Helpful (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28692579)

greenhouse gas emissions. Alternatively, they may
purchase from me, carbon emission credits for the total of
Euro 1,000,000,000 .

Yours In Ecology,
K. Trout

Re:Wait Until NASA Is Fined For +1, Helpful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28692667)

Alternatively, they may purchase from me, carbon emission credits for the total of Euro 1,000,000,000 .

You've been printing your own credits too?

Re:Wait Until NASA Is Fined For +1, Helpful (-1, Flamebait)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 5 years ago | (#28693227)

Vonnegut was a shitty writer. That is all.

Tough Luck (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28692591)

If you don't want America's garbage raining down on you, you are going to have to defeat us on the field of battle.

What's that? You haven't printed trillions of dollars to build up an absurdly capable military?

I suggest you grab a helmet and dig yourself a bunker, mate.

I already have a bunker, you insensitive clod (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28694587)

USA hasn't been in a war since the civil war.

Of course, USA has sent soldiers across the ocean, many of them have even died. There have been some financial consequences about the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. And in the world wars there were even consequences to the society as a whole as women had to go to the factories, etc... USA has participated in wars, yeah. But not been in one in centuries.

When American soldiers were in the world war they didn't need to fear that their homes would be bombed down. When they are in Iraq they don't need to fear that advancing enemy soldiers would rape, imprison or mutilate their families and they don't have to fear that their hometown has been bombed when they get back. And I'm not talking about some two towers crashing but actually entire cities in ruins. It's not nearly the same thing.

As such, USA hasn't taken precautions in case war would some day hit them. There aren't much bunkers around and so on. There are some, of course, and some people have private bunkers but even still.

I live in a country that was bombed during the world wars and it can be seen in many little things. Most importantly, all apartment buildings here have bunkers large enough to house everyone in the building and strong enough to endure the whole building's weight falling on them (even though that would be impossible to happen).

Re:I already have a bunker, you insensitive clod (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#28697567)

As such, USA hasn't taken precautions in case war would some day hit them. There aren't much bunkers around and so on. There are some, of course, and some people have private bunkers but even still.

What? Did you forget about duck and cover? There are so many fall out shelters sitting around designed to handle a nuclear strike just miles away they they have been re purposed as stores and hotels and crap. I have two of them on my property that was capable of handling 80 people each ran by the civil air patrol. One is used as a farrowing house now and the other is just sitting there.

Almost every city has them. A lot of the cities even require a few to remain the way they were. You might look around and see a yellow triangle that says fall out shelter on it marking the entrance way to one inside of stores, government buildings and so on. When I was in school, we had one in the basement of the school large enough to pack the entire school in there for 2 weeks at a time without outside assistant. In our duck and cover instructions, we were given maps of the city with all the fallout shelter locations on them and even had pop quizzes over them.

Of course I live within 200 miles of 3 air force bases (one decommissioned) and an army base so we might have had a few more precautions. But you can about guarantee that are quite a few bunkers around in America. Besides, ever county in every state has a national guard armory that will have weapons (if you follow their orders) and bunkers larger enough to take civilians in. Maybe not all of them, but it isn't like a full scale war will last long in the US either. The second amendment and the structure of the US constitution made sure of that.

I live in a country that was bombed during the world wars and it can be seen in many little things. Most importantly, all apartment buildings here have bunkers large enough to house everyone in the building and strong enough to endure the whole building's weight falling on them (even though that would be impossible to happen). That's good and all, but you have to think about some things, we have over the horizon missile systems that can shoot down incoming aircraft before we can even see them with optical magnification. We have early warning systems in place and advanced warning systems that will function in the event of a nuclear EMP. The tactics of WWII will not be able to survive a war with modern defenses like what is scattered around Europe, Russia, the US and so on. Canada is even someone shielded by the US defense system and through a operation right of way, they enjoy the ability to rely on us to some degree and not keep as large of a military. Even Europe against the US will not be a war like WWII was. Nuclear weapons ensure that. As a last resort, or maybe even sooner depending on how scared out leader are, they will be the game changer. IF we ever get our missile defense systems fully operations and accurate, even that will be completely different in the future.

Re:I already have a bunker, you insensitive clod (1)

plnix0 (807376) | more than 5 years ago | (#28699591)

The second amendment ... made sure of that.

If we can keep it.

Simpsons (4, Funny)

BigJClark (1226554) | more than 5 years ago | (#28692597)


This story reads like a Simpsons' episode.

Re:Simpsons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28692619)

I met some Australians who truly loved Simpson's but still thought the "Boot" episode went too far.

Re:Simpsons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28692713)

Did you tell them to lighten up?

Re:Simpsons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28692923)

I told them to be happy like Steve Irwin.

Re:Simpsons (1)

damien_kane (519267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28693831)

No, he told them not to tread on him, true story...

Re:Simpsons (1)

Mr. Tom Guycot (1298343) | more than 5 years ago | (#28697029)

Don't they know that disparaging the Boot is a bootable offense?

Re:Simpsons (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#28697827)

I didn't think so. Everything they cover gets the same treatment.

Re:Simpsons (1)

Javaman59 (524434) | more than 5 years ago | (#28699989)

I met some Australians who truly loved Simpson's but still thought the "Boot" episode went too far.

Did they also warn you about the drop bears, and hoop snakes?

Re:Simpsons (1)

DeskLazer (699263) | more than 5 years ago | (#28692949)

Simpsons DID IT!

You know they need better budget managers when... (2, Funny)

panoptical2 (1344319) | more than 5 years ago | (#28692721)

NASA needs DJs to raise $400 for a littering fine applied 30 years ago.

Re:You know they need better budget managers when. (5, Insightful)

djdavetrouble (442175) | more than 5 years ago | (#28692773)

I have been to Barstow, a hot hot hot overgrown truck stop in the middle of California's central valley.
This genius found a way to escape to australia for a bit, kudos to him.

Re:You know they need better budget managers when. (2, Informative)

Niris (1443675) | more than 5 years ago | (#28693167)

Being from Fresno, CA, I completely agree. Also, Barstow isn't in the central valley. Central valley ends out near Bakersfield, and Barstow is a bit more southeast from there towards Vegas.

Re:You know they need better budget managers when. (1)

nizo (81281) | more than 5 years ago | (#28693811)

Aren't Bakersfield and Barstow known as the armpits of California?

Re:You know they need better budget managers when. (2, Funny)

Niris (1443675) | more than 5 years ago | (#28693925)

Pretty sure Fresno's on that list, too. All hellholes.

Re:You know they need better budget managers when. (1)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 5 years ago | (#28694277)

I prefer to think of them as a little taste of West Virginia three hours from the coast.

Re:You know they need better budget managers when. (1)

Myrddin Wyllt (1188671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701501)

Being a foreigner, I have no clue where Barstow is exactly, but 'somewhere near Barstow' is on the edge of the desert. Definitely. And it's full of bats.

Re:You know they need better budget managers when. (3, Insightful)

VoltageX (845249) | more than 5 years ago | (#28698761)

So he goes to Western Australia, a hot hot hot overgrown truck (road train) stop on the edge of Australia.

Re:You know they need better budget managers when. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28693795)

Gotta love government bureaucracy. I guarantee you it was supposed to be approved by some middle manager who left/got transferred before getting around to doing it - and no one ever bothered to check after that.

Re:You know they need better budget managers when. (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#28694095)

I bet the town could have sold the Skylab debris for more than $400.

Re:You know they need better budget managers when. (2, Insightful)

deniable (76198) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701587)

They probably did, but local councils like to maximise their revenue opportunities.

Re:You know they need better budget managers when. (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 5 years ago | (#28694295)

That's pretty good budget management when you get someone else to pay.

Littering? Really? (5, Interesting)

Blixinator (1585261) | more than 5 years ago | (#28692815)

Do they also give fines for littering to people who wreck their cars and leave debris on the side of the road? I don't mean the whole car, but stuff like smashed headlights and windows.

Re:Littering? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28692865)

Hmm, BadAnalogyGuy has a sockpuppet account.

Re:Littering? Really? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28692979)

If somebody knowingly left debris on the side of the road - not quite deliberately, but after a deliberate action they knew what lead to things like smashed headlights etc. falling off -, and then refused to clear it up... should they not receive a fine?

Put another way: why DIDN'T NASA clean up their debris? And no, "they're too far away and it'd be too expensive for them to do so" is not an excuse: just let them hire a local contractor. I know if China's space agency or whatever let debris fall on MY town, I'd expect them to pay someone to get rid of it again, too. Why should my taxes pay for that?

Re:Littering? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28693047)

They didn't have to get anyone to pick up the pieces of Columbia. They had citizens do that for them. But in that case, they wanted the debris. I guess NASA was never taught to pick up its toys when they were done playing with them; unless they're part of an investigation into the cause of a massive failure of said toys.

Re:Littering? Really? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#28697647)

It's probably a jurisdictional thing. Once someone represented NASA entered the community, they would be liable for the littering fine. Even if it's a contractor from the community operating in NASA's interest. If the fine wasn't imposed, they probably would have contracted with someone for the clean up just to examine wreckage.

Re:Littering? Really? (4, Informative)

BenEnglishAtHome (449670) | more than 5 years ago | (#28693019)

...stuff like smashed headlights and windows.

Where I come from, E-class (emergency-class) wrecker license tags, the ones that allow you to legally respond to car wrecks, are highly prized, being considered virtually a license to print money. Because of that, the wrecker drivers are perfectly willing to shoulder the extra burden of post-wreck cleanup. To keep your E-tag, you have to clean up the miscellaneous parts littering the road after a wreck. Generally, the last step in towing away a wrecked car involves the wrecker driver using a large pushbroom to clean off the roadway.

Re:Littering? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28695211)

In New Zealand, someone who has an accident is obliged to clean up glass/foo on the road within 24 hours of the event: or arrange for someone else to do it for them.

Re:Littering? Really? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#28697863)

Here in Melbourne there used to be battles on the street between tow truck drivers. It was absolute mayhem. Then the state government forced an allocation system on the tow trucks. Then the truck drivers figured out the algorithm it was using. Now its kind of an information war based on who can do a better job of gaming the system.

Re:Littering? Really? (1)

Zebai (979227) | more than 5 years ago | (#28693057)

Its difficult tell from the various articles, but it seems as if it was no single piece of debris but a great deal of pieces of the station survived reentry and was scattered around. It is unlikely they bothered to retrieve and pick up any of it so if your broken down car was shattered into 100 pieces and spread across 10 counties and you only cleaned up the pieces that were important you would be fined too.

Re:Littering? Really? (1)

luke_simmo (1597859) | more than 5 years ago | (#28693211)

Not sure, but a friend of mine was fined (in Australia, coincidentally) when his surfboard flew off the top of his car and shattered all over the freeway. Adds insult to injury ... They seem to have a fine for everything in Oz.

Re:Littering? Really? (1)

tzhuge (1031302) | more than 5 years ago | (#28693307)

Umm... that could be considered driving with an unsecured load. I don't think Oz is the only place you might be fined for that.

Re:Littering? Really? (1)

luke_simmo (1597859) | more than 5 years ago | (#28694481)

I was referring to the speeding/red light cameras everywhere & parking/train/J-walking fines that seem to get dished out at a ridiculous rate. I'm saving a fortune living in Wisconsin.

Re:Littering? Really? (1)

robo.cowp (929330) | more than 5 years ago | (#28697635)

Because fining people for breaking the law is a strange idea...?
Those crazy Aussies!

Re:Littering? Really? (2, Informative)

crafty.munchkin (1220528) | more than 5 years ago | (#28699145)

Not so much that, but making new laws just so you can fine people and increase the governmental revenue stream seems to be the way to go here. In the Melbourne CBD, there are around 500 parking inspectors wandering around the city from 6am till 1am, and if your car is parked somewhere for more than 3 minutes after it's allocated time, $110 fine. Even at 12:45am... in a 1 hr parking spot that I'd parked in at 11:50pm, I got fined - the onus fell on me to prove that I had been there less than one hour and I had no way of doing so. I remember this thing called presumption of innocence being taught in school... seems that it's the complete opposite in reality.


not that i ever paid that fine... arseholes!

Re:Littering? Really? (4, Interesting)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 5 years ago | (#28693317)

Yes, they fine you for littering if you leave your bumper on the road after an accident. They also bill you for repairing the dividers, signposts, and lamp posts that you destroyed in an accident. Utah did that to my parents when they got into a car accident. Utah could get reimbursement from the federal government only by showing they exhausted other sources of funding, including billing accident victims.

Re:Littering? Really? (2, Informative)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | more than 5 years ago | (#28693513)

They do this in the UK too.
Whats more, they now add a £15 surcharge to speeding fines etc. to fund "compensation for the victims of crime". http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/5225133/Fined-motorists-to-be-hit-with-15-victims-surcharge.html [telegraph.co.uk]
This comes as they are rolling out a huge expansion of speed cameras, including "ANPR" (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) which time your car point-to-point, over many miles, and handily also record your (and everybody else's) vehicle movements for 5 years at police central command.

Re:Littering? Really? (1)

Rennt (582550) | more than 5 years ago | (#28694523)

Yes, if they catch you, they will.

Re:Littering? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28696913)

In California if you left the debris on the road without paying a wrecker to clean it up, then yes, you would be fined. Common sense really.

Re:Littering? Really? (1)

XDirtypunkX (1290358) | more than 5 years ago | (#28698921)

They can do, yes. Western Australia has on the spot littering fines for any litter what-so-ever. Of course, you have to be caught and some bastard actually has to write you up.

Re:Littering? Really? (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701601)

"$40 on the spot fine and up to $400 in the courts" is the way I remember it. Hmm, that 400 looks familiar.

Just wait! (1)

ATestR (1060586) | more than 5 years ago | (#28693009)

If they think that Skylab was bad, just wait until NASA crashes the ISS [slashdot.org] into the middle of Sydney!

Re:Just wait! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28693053)

Well, it IS Sydney or the Bush!

Re:Just wait! (5, Funny)

system1111 (1527561) | more than 5 years ago | (#28693113)

crashes has such negative connotations. NASA prefers you use the term terrestrial parking. Thanks!

Re:Just wait! (1)

ctetc007 (875050) | more than 5 years ago | (#28693233)

Except that terrestrial parking is waaay too broad. The space shuttle also does terrestrial parking (Apollo, Gemini, and Mercury too, if you're talking about terrestrial as in Earth, not land). In fact, I do terrestrial parking everyday. How else am I going to get out of my car?

Re:Just wait! (1)

mikkelm (1000451) | more than 5 years ago | (#28693727)

Wow.

Re:Just wait! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28695683)

You sure do know how to kill a lighthearted joke. Notice how you don't really have any close friends in real life? Those sort of behaviors are exactly why. You should work on changing that.

Re:Just wait! (1)

system1111 (1527561) | more than 5 years ago | (#28695773)

WHOOSHHHHH. Was that the ISS flying over head???

Re:Just wait! (1)

ctetc007 (875050) | more than 5 years ago | (#28696547)

You guys obviously didn't understand what I was getting at. Your euphemism for a bad thing could also be used to describe some other good thing (successful landing). I don't want my good landings lumped in with your crashes.

In order for this to work, you need to come up with some phrase like "very rough landing." Yes, it still includes a list of not so bad occurrences, but it's a lot less encompassing.

Mr. Anonymous Trolling Coward, I indeed have a very healthy number of close friends. You really should go find some better spies to stalk me.

Re:Just wait! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28701285)

I believe the correct euphemism is "lithobraking".

Re:Just wait! (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701605)

I thought they called it "repositioning to a (much) lower orbit."

Re:Just wait! (1)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 5 years ago | (#28693185)

I don't think de-orbiting means what you think it means. They did not say "plan to re-entry the ISS." I think de-orbit simply means the ISS will exit Earthly orbit and head off into space on some tangent to be determined by a bunch of really smart scientists.

Re:Just wait! (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#28693289)

I don't think de-orbiting means what you think it means. They did not say "plan to re-entry the ISS." I think de-orbit simply means the ISS will exit Earthly orbit and head off into space on some tangent to be determined by a bunch of really smart scientists.

Says who? De-orbit means either send it off into space or send it crashing to the ground. NASA is likely to do whichever is cheaper, especially when their budget gets cut even further over the next few years.

Since the Aussies seem to have liked the last one we send them, judging by their art in that photo, we should send them this one too. :)

Re:Just wait! (1)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 5 years ago | (#28693525)

NASA has referred to returning to Earth as re-entry for as long as I can remember. Unless you other /.ers have some swaying argument to suggest that this newish term "de-orbiting" means something other than staying in space but leaving Earth's orbit, I'm kindly sticking my fingers in my ears and yelling "I CAN'T HEAR YOU!"

Re:Just wait! (2, Informative)

jvonk (315830) | more than 5 years ago | (#28696367)

You mean like this [nasa.gov] example from NASA's own site? I found that in 15 seconds on google.

Where do you think they would send the ISS? A Lagrange point? Please.

It is going to be thrown away just after it is complete. I think it is sick, but they have been talking about this ever since the 1990's. I remember reading about this planned destruction at age 12 in Popular Science--even before they had launched the first component. I was very disgusted with our "progress" in space exploration, then as now.

Re:Just wait! (2, Informative)

caerwyn (38056) | more than 5 years ago | (#28693447)

The ISS doesn't have the power budget to get out of earth orbit. De-orbit will definitely mean controlled re-rentry. It really won't be that hard, since they'll surely be able to do it in pieces.

Re:Just wait! (1)

Daravon (848487) | more than 5 years ago | (#28694367)

ISS will exit Earthly orbit and head off into space

HAH! They're learning how to spend their money wisely. Not only do we no longer have to support the ISS, we also get to take credit for the first ruskies on Mars AND we get a good laugh at Russia's expense.

Re:Just wait! (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 5 years ago | (#28693235)

Don't joke about that.

The original Gundam involved an incident where a space colony was dropped on Australia and wiped out Sydney. :( Now that we have an original Gundam unit sitting in tokyo....

Re:Just wait! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28694013)

The original Gundam involved an incident where a space colony was dropped on Australia and wiped out Sydney.

Thus doing hundreds of billions of dollars in improvements?

art (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28693043)

Looks like they are using it as a decorattive piece of art... not abandonded trash.

SkyLab II: ISS Strikes Back (4, Funny)

powerlord (28156) | more than 5 years ago | (#28693111)

Skylab parts fell on Esperance in 1979, but the space agency's refusal to pay $400 has resulted in an entertaining annual grudge.

Just wait till they DeOrbit ISS in 2016. I think I know where the "miscalculated" orbit might end up.

I expect the headline "Small New Zealand town vaporized as a result of Kilometer-Mile error made computing the ISS re-entry trajectory."

Re:SkyLab II: ISS Strikes Back (1)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 5 years ago | (#28693205)

de-orbit != re-entry

I expect the headline "ISS sets course for the Moon."

Re:SkyLab II: ISS Strikes Back (2, Informative)

ctetc007 (875050) | more than 5 years ago | (#28693309)

Boosting it out of Earth orbit is much more expensive than doing a retro-burn to allow it to fall back to Earth. Do leave orbit, you have to give it enough energy to reach escape velocity. To have it fall back to Earth, just a "small" nudge to slow down and come back down.

Re:SkyLab II: ISS Strikes Back (1)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 5 years ago | (#28693477)

Sure. But they said de-orbit not re-enter. So no.

Re:SkyLab II: ISS Strikes Back (1)

woodchip (611770) | more than 5 years ago | (#28693571)

re-enter is a subset of de-orbit. So most probably yes.

Re:SkyLab II: ISS Strikes Back (1)

beef curtains (792692) | more than 5 years ago | (#28693977)

de-orbit - v.: to remove from orbit

If the ISS is somehow hurled out into space, is it still in orbit? No.

If the ISS is allowed to let Earth's gravity do its thing, is it still in orbit? No.

Now tell me, which do you think is cheaper & easier: to shuttle a bunch of fuel out to the ISS, then use that fuel to rocket that thing out of orbit in such a way that it flies off into space? Or to use what fuel it already has onboard to send the ISS, one module at a time, into controlled re-entry?

Please feel free to explain which portion of the compound word "de-orbit" explicitly points to "send out into space" as opposed to "allow to re-enter the atmostphere".

Re:SkyLab II: ISS Strikes Back (1)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28694289)

Shh! You're going to blow his chance to try to look smart by showing off half-baked knowledge misinterpreted from something he heard in passing, probably on a third-rate Skiffy B-movie (possibly on the Skiffy, er, Sci-Fi, er, SyFy Channel). How can he lord it over his equally ignorant peers when they come to visit his mom's basement if you're going to bring up something as irrelevant as facts!?

Although one could argue that objects on the surface of the Earth still move in a more-or-less elliptical path around the Earth (a circle can be considered a degenerate form of ellipse, after all), so, in a sense, landing is not de-orbiting as much as it is changing orbits. If I still lived in my mom's basement, I think I could turn that into a pretty convincing argument, but I don't, so I won't.

(I could also point out that words sometimes develop more specialized meanings than their roots might suggest, i.e. "defenestrate" has become a little more specific than "unwindowing", but that would just be silly, so I won't bother.) :)

Re:SkyLab II: ISS Strikes Back (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28693463)

The Apollo missions put about 30,000 kg into lunar orbit. ISS has a mass just above 300,000 kg.

So it is entirely possible, but it sounds awful expensive.

Re:SkyLab II: ISS Strikes Back (1)

mfrank (649656) | more than 5 years ago | (#28693475)

It would take too much fuel for them to move it away from Earth. They will deorbit it so it re-enters over the Pacific. They didn't do it with Skylab because they didn't have rockets/fuel to control when and where it re-entered.

Re:SkyLab II: ISS Strikes Back (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#28697909)

I believe NASA had a plan to safely deorbit Skylab however the outer atmosphere expanded due to a strong sunspot cycle on the sun, resulting in more drag and fireworks over central Australia. IIRC another fragment was found this decade on a remote cattle station, but NASA weren't interested in getting it back.

Re:SkyLab II: ISS Strikes Back (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 5 years ago | (#28693735)

No doubt caused by conversion error, miles to kilometers.

Re:SkyLab II: ISS Strikes Back (1)

Kittenman (971447) | more than 5 years ago | (#28697747)

I live in New Zealand, you insensitive clod!

Re:SkyLab II: ISS Strikes Back (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#28697885)

Well NZ survived having the Apollo 13 LM almost dropped on them. Maybe they will get lucky.

Interest? (4, Insightful)

ctetc007 (875050) | more than 5 years ago | (#28693273)

What about the accrued interest on the fine? I also wonder, if they had not dropped the fine, could there have been some sort of arrest warrant, and who would've been the one to arrest?

Re:Interest? (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 5 years ago | (#28694565)

Robert A. Frosch [wikipedia.org] , head of NASA at the time (11 July 1979), or pres Jimmy Carter. Also, you might include the last crew [wikipedia.org] ; Carr, Pogue, and Gibson. They abandoned a moving vehicle, and let it crash...;)

Re:Interest? (1)

aardwolf64 (160070) | more than 5 years ago | (#28696341)

But the violation was committed in space... not in Australia's jurisdiction. Perhaps Australia should have sued SPACE for letting the debris fall in their country.

as Dr. Forrester said... (1)

Nick Number (447026) | more than 5 years ago | (#28696511)

In space, no one can hear you sue.

Re:Interest? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#28697921)

Considering the number of meteorites recovered from the Nullabour I think we could be on to a good earner there.

Re:Interest? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28694615)

The first person to ask, naturally.

Hometown publicity (5, Interesting)

SwingMonkey (1420805) | more than 5 years ago | (#28693449)

I had to comment, just because it's pretty damn rare for my hometown to get a mention anywhere, let along on Slashdot :P This was a pretty big event at the time - Nasa had a team of people on the ground and were aksing for bits of debris to be bought in for analysis. My mother took a few pieces in and forgot about it, several months later they sent them back mounted on a nice wall plaque identifying which part of the space station it was from :)

It's kind of sad (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 5 years ago | (#28693883)

the number of posters to this story who don't realize that the fine was a joke.

Re:It's kind of sad (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 5 years ago | (#28701667)

Yeah, but we got a foreigner to pay it. Bonus points. (Actually, knowing councils, some poor bugger is still trying to sort out the paperwork.)

Foreign governments don't pay their parking tics (3, Informative)

Dr_Ken (1163339) | more than 5 years ago | (#28693937)

Foreign governments don't pay their parking tics in NYC or Washington either mainly because they don't have to. Diplomatic immunity bars local gov from messing with them. Also It would be interesting to send a FOIA request to NASA to see if the town ever went through proper diplomatic channels to make a claim against the US gov.

Re:Foreign governments don't pay their parking tic (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#28694369)

Also It would be interesting to send a FOIA request to NASA to see if the town ever went through proper diplomatic channels to make a claim against the US gov.

      I don't seem to remember Skylab spending any time in Australian customs and excise, or being reviewed by an inspector, before entering Australian territory, either.

      Your post is silly.

Re:Foreign governments don't pay their parking tic (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#28697937)

I hope there wasn't any fresh fruit left on Skylab by the last crew. If so there is going to be trouble.

Re:Foreign governments don't pay their parking tic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28695757)

The US is behind on payments to the U.N. and terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center.

Its fun to make sentences that have no meaning!

Get off my lawn (4, Informative)

bigredradio (631970) | more than 5 years ago | (#28694913)

So I started to read the article and immediately thought "oh yeah, I remember when that came down". Then I read the part about the 30yr Anniversary. Damn I am getting old.

two small towns at opposite ends of the Pacific (1)

kre.86 (1213912) | more than 5 years ago | (#28696559)

"two small towns at opposite ends of the Pacific"? Esperance is 3000+km from the Pacific.

So... (1, Interesting)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 5 years ago | (#28697005)

  How much money has that town made off of that particular bit of random fame?

  I'll bet it is a helluva lot more than the fine.

  (How much did they spend on pursuing the claim... *g*)

  Humans are, for the most part, fucking idiots.

  (I have karma to burn, so go ahead and mod me down if you feel you have to. Ask me if I care, fools.)

SB

Re:So... (1)

smash (1351) | more than 5 years ago | (#28698177)

Not the point. The point, I think is that irrespective of whether or not you're a foreign entity, whilst having a presence on another country, you obey their laws. NASA dropped shit on our country (littering), they should pay for it.

I'm sure if the roles were reversed, and Australia fired a piece of junk over at the USA, we'd have a pack of angry citizens out for blood.

Re:So... (2, Insightful)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 5 years ago | (#28698565)

  Then maybe there is something to be said about having a uniform code of law, on a global basis.

  Not that it's likely to happen in our lifetimes.

  While we're at it, we could put caps on damage awards, too.

  You do realize that my comment was meant in jest?

  SB

DJ didn't read the fine print (0)

SlashDev (627697) | more than 5 years ago | (#28697061)

"By agreeing to pay the $400 fine, you also agree to pickup the fallen debris."

Re:DJ didn't read the fine print (2, Funny)

MeatBag PussRocket (1475317) | more than 5 years ago | (#28697739)

if i had read the fine print, i'd certainly have paid the $400. hell i could recoup the cost by ebaying just one chunk of that thing. theres 300 million people in amreica, millions of whom would pay a good chunk of coin to own a piece of a space station. one mans trash...

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>