In Australia, the prize find in the treasure hunt for debris from the Skylab space station, a six-foot (two metres) long cylinder was cleared of radiation on Friday (13 July) and is now awaiting inspection by United States space scientists.
In Australia, the prize find in the treasure hunt for debris from the Skylab space station, a six-foot (two metres) long cylinder was cleared of radiation on Friday (13 July) and is now awaiting inspection by United States space scientists. The steel drum -- believed to be part of the space station's docking system -- was found near the small town of Rawlinna, about 600 miles (960 km) east of Perth about 16 hours after Skylab broke into pieces above South western Australia on Wednesday (11 July). Eyewitness airline pilot Captain Bill Anderson describes how he saw the spacecraft disintegrate..
SYNOPSIS: Up to a thousand pieces of Skylab are said to have fallen on this remote desert area in south western Australia.
And soon after the treasure hunters moved in scientists were on hand, too. To check on radioactivity, atmosphere re-entry damage and put up 1979-style claim stakes.
But the treasure hunters are usually faster, and maybe their incentive is bigger. One London newspaper reported that an Australian had been offered a pound weight of gold for every ounce of Skylab debris. And as if that weren't enough, one of his six other offers came from a New York publishing company for over 20,000 dollars for his story. But by far the best find so far is a docking cylinder, found by three men who were searching for a missing railway worker.
But not every Australian is happy, a prominent Sydney churchman protested to the government and demanded that it ask other nations to stop thinking of Australia as a wasteland suitable only for crash-landing any old object.