Skylab was the first space station launched by NASA, and remained in orbit from 1973-1979. After a botched launch, in which damage was sustained to the station's solar power system and micrometeoroid shield, a repair crew was able to save the station from uninhabitability. Skylab was used for scientific experiments until 1974, when it was abandoned. In 1979 the station fell back to earth, large parts of it ending up near the town of Esperance, Australia. Local authorities fined the US government $400 for littering. To this day, the fine remains unpaid.