This was a bit of a big deal back in ’79, as the first American space station, Skylab, visited three times by crews in Apollo spaceships for several weeks at a time in 1973 and 1974, was coming back down to Earth. It’s orbit was allowed to deteriorate, leaving a big mystery as to where the ship would crash back on our planet.
I remember watching the bulletins and reports on TV as a seven year old two months shy of my 8th birthday, with Walter Cronkite anchoring on CBS, doing a few minutes on the latest developments every hour. I imagine the other networks did the same, this being the year before CNN took to the air.
They were hopeful that the space station would crash into the Atlantic, but it stayed together long enough to where parts of it crashed into the mostly barren portions of the Western Australia state of Australia. Pieces of it were put on televised display nine days later when the Miss Universe pageant aired from Perth.