Hilariously relevant article. What to do if this Chinese space station crashes into your house this weekend
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In the hours before the event, ground controllers adjusted Skylab's orientation to try to minimize the risk of re-entry on a populated area. They aimed the station at a spot 810 miles (1,300 km) south southeast of Cape Town, South Africa, and re-entry began at approximately 16:37 UTC, July 11, 1979. The Air Force provided data from a secret tracking system able to monitor the reentry. The station did not burn up as fast as NASA expected. Due to a 4% calculation error, debris landed about 300 miles (480 km) east of Perth, Western Australia, and was found between Esperance and Rawlinna, from 31° to 34°S and 122° to 126°E, about 130–150 km (81–93 miles) radius around Balladonia. Residents and an airline pilot saw dozens of colorful fireworks-like flares as large pieces broke up in the atmosphere. The Shire of Esperance facetiously fined NASA A$400 for littering, a fine which remained unpaid for 30 years. The fine was paid in April 2009, when radio show host Scott Barley of Highway Radio raised the funds from his morning show listeners and paid the fine on behalf of NASA.