In Australia they are serious about their littering fines and not even NASA could get away with it. This is what happened when debris of Skylab fell into Australia.
Skylab, the first US manned space scientific station was launched into Earth’s orbit by NASA in 1973. Just a year later, in 1974, the station was abandoned and started to disintegrate, re-entering the earth’s atmosphere.
Even though NASA fired booster rockets, hoping the pieces of Skylab would fall into the Indian Ocean, it was impossible to control the debris. Some of them did, but others landed in populated areas of Western Australia. Thankfully, no one was injured but the town still issued a $400 fine to the United States for littering. (the article continues after the ad)
The fine went unpaid for nearly 30 years until April 1999 when a Californian radio DJ raised funds from his listeners and paid NASA’s bill.
If you like what you read, then you will definitely love this one: The Real Story Behind The NASA Space Pen And The Soviet Pencil
Photos: NASA, Powerhouse Museum