Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Sky Is (Still) Falling

For those of you who are relatively new to this eight-year-old blog, today is the twenty-eighth anniversary of Skylab's descent. I began my own Crash Course shortly before the twentieth anniversary while I was living in Shimonoseki, Japan. (And I chose the Polish/Slavic spelling of the space station for my moniker because I figured it would be easier to consolidate my various online personalities under something a bit more foreign-spelled.)
On July 11, 1979, the abandoned United States space station Skylab made a spectacular return to Earth, burning up in the atmosphere and showering debris over the Indian Ocean and Australia.

That summer I thought the world was ending, and I obsessively collected every article about and photograph of what was then the largest (hu)man-made satellite ever. I still have that yellow scrapbook I made at my grandmother's house in Arkansas. (And I assume Skylab is the reason I love Wim Wenders' film Until the End of the World as much as I do. Skylab is also probably the reason I'm wary of (or at least ironic about) technojunk.) With a healthy dose of realism/cynicism about the (dis)abilities of humankind since that time, I'm even better "prepared" to face the next American/(hu)man-made cataclysm that falls from the sky.

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