Monday, March 9, 2009

sek'lyob is falling




Heard:
Found them all sleeping in the courtyard one early morning, the entire family of a neighbor. They hadn't slept inside their house that night and probably many more nights.
When asked, they replied, 'Don't you know? Sek'lyob is about to fall! We are just prepared for the worst.' Walking on street, people were playing pranks on reach other: 'Watch your head, look at the sky, sek'lyob is falling. Haha! Got'ya!'

Read:
July 1979
The American Sky lab vehicle, nine stories tall and weighing 77.5 tons, was expected to slip into the earth's atmosphere. Somewhere, ten fragments, each weighing 1,000 Ibs. or more, were to crash down to earth at speeds of up to 270 m.p.h. with the force of a dying meteor. Thus would have be observed, after a series of miscalculations, the tenth anniversary of man's proudest achievement in space, the walk on the moon.

NASA'S statisticians contended that the chance of any remnant striking a human being was only 1 in 152; the probability of any specific person being struck was 1 in 600 billion—far less than the chance of being hit by a bolt of lightning or winning a lottery.

 One of the heaviest pieces of Skylab, a two-ton lead-lined vault used for film storage, was capable of digging a hole 5 ft. wide and 100 ft. deep. And within the band of Skylab's orbital paths lied some of the world's most populous areas, including all of the U.S., much of Europe, India and China. Indeed, the chance of debris falling in some city of at least 100,000 inhabitants was a sobering 1 in 7. Only 10% of the earth's inhabitants could be considered totally free of any risk from Skylab's metallic fallout.

Image: Haar

2 comments:

  1. Sek'lyob !?
    Ha, that sounds so funny.
    I do remember my father discussing this topic with his students..and I used to be enraptured by the expressions and hellish predictions of some of the listeners.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yeah...heard about it from my father and found it quite funny. 'Skylab' was the buzz word back then. Even Bollywood can testify to that: In Sanjay Dutt's debut film 'Rocky' for the song 'Aa Dekhein Zara' he can be seen dancing in a disc named 'Skylab', fact given out by a big neon sign. End of the world stories are always interesting. And the stories are always there. Just now people are talking about 'World Ends in 2012'.

    ReplyDelete

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