Doctor Who: The Three Doctors, Part 2

Doctor WhoThe 331st episode of Doctor Who airs on BBC1. This is the series’ first “multi-Doctor” celebratory story, featuring Patrick Troughton as the second Doctor, with appearances by William Hartnell as the first Doctor (though Hartnell’s participation in the story has been significantly reduced due to his failing health; he never appears on set with his successors, appearing only in pre-recorded film inserts). Stephen Thorne guest stars as Omega.

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Luna 21 and Lunokhod 2

Luna 21The Soviet Union launches unmanned space probe Luna 21 toward the moon, carrying the Lunokhod 2 robotic rover. Like Lunokhod 1, this rover is solar-powered and can operate independently of its lander, though ground controllers push this vehicle further. Five months into its mission, Lunokhod is driven into a crater from which it is unable to escape; the mission is declared over a month later. This mission is not intended to return lunar soil samples to Earth.

Doctor Who: The Three Doctors, Part 3

Doctor WhoThe 332nd episode of Doctor Who airs on BBC1. This is the series’ first “multi-Doctor” celebratory story, featuring Patrick Troughton as the second Doctor, with appearances by William Hartnell as the first Doctor (though Hartnell’s participation in the story has been significantly reduced due to his failing health; he never appears on set with his successors, appearing only in pre-recorded film inserts). Stephen Thorne guest stars as Omega.

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Doctor Who: The Three Doctors, Part 4

Doctor WhoThe 333rd episode of Doctor Who airs on BBC1. This is the series’ first “multi-Doctor” celebratory story, featuring Patrick Troughton as the second Doctor, with appearances by William Hartnell as the first Doctor (though Hartnell’s participation in the story has been significantly reduced due to his failing health; he never appears on set with his successors, appearing only in pre-recorded film inserts). Stephen Thorne guest stars as Omega.

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The Six Million Dollar Man

The Six Million Dollar ManThe TV movie-of-the-week The Six Million Dollar Man airs on ABC, starring Lee Majors, Martin Balsam, and Darren McGavin. Based loosely on the 1972 novel “Cyborg” by Martin Caidin, this movie begins the story of bionic man Steve Austin on television, and proves to be popular with the TV audience. Two further movies will follow in 1973 before a long-running series begins in 1974.

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IBM 3340: the Winchester hard drive

IBM Model 3340IBM introduces the Model 3340 hard disk drive system for its System/370 mainframe computers. Housed in a large casing similar to a combined washer and dryer, this is the birth of modern hard disk technology, with read and write heads integral to the drive itself rather than being mounted on an arm which reaches into the drive casing. The 3340’s removable modules, each containing drive platters and the read/write heads, can be swapped out with other modules containing other drives. IBM ships the 3340 with two maximum storage capacities: 35 megabytes or 70 megabytes; the unit is internally called a Winchester hard drive, a case of a code name that sticks well beyond development. The 3340 is available through 1984.

Genesis II

Genesis IICBS premieres the made-for-TV movie Genesis II, starring Alex Cord, Mariette Hartley, Ted Cassidy, and Percy Rodrigues. Created and written by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, Genesis II is clearly a series pilot, the first of several attempts by Roddenberry to chart a career beyond Star Trek. The story concerns an astronaut named Dylan Hunt who is frozen in suspended animation, only reawakening after the fall of human civilization; the pilot does not result in a series pickup, though the story of Dylan Hunt will form the basis of Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda, a syndicated series produced in the early 2000s after Roddenberry’s death.

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Doctor Who: Frontier In Space, Part 6

Doctor WhoThe 343rd episode of Doctor Who airs on BBC1. This is the last story featuring Roger Delgado as the Master before the actor’s untimely death in June 1973. Madhav Sharma (Moonbase 3) guest stars. This marks one of the earliest collaborations between the Doctor’s various enemies (in this case, a one-time-only alliance between the Master and the Daleks).

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Salyut 2: first military space station

Salyut 2The Soviet Union launches a second space station, and the first station designed exclusively for military tasks in orbit. Salyut 2 is the first station to use the Almaz military space station design devised in the 1960s as a response to the US Air Force’s never-flown Manned Orbiting Laboratory. Within two weeks, however, technical difficulties take their toll: Salyut 2 begins to tumble out of control, and its crew compartment depressurizes. (The redesigned Soyuz vehicle is not ready to fly yet, so no crew ever visits Salyut 2.) The second Soviet space station burns up in the atmosphere less than two months after launch.

Pioneer 11 launched

Pioneer 11The unmanned space probe Pioneer 11 is launched on a course that will be one of the first real tests of the theory of gravity assist. Reaching Jupiter in 1975, it will use the giant planet’s gravity to throw it across the solar system to rendezvous with Saturn, the first human-made vehicle to visit that planet. The experience gained with Pioneer 11’s groundbreaking trajectory through the solar system will prove instrumental in the upcoming Mariner Jupter/Saturn ’77 mission, which is later be renamed Voyager.

Skylab launched

SkylabThe first American space station, Skylab, is launched unmanned atop the last Saturn V rocket ever to be flown. Within minutes, however, it’s obvious that the space station – whose habitable space is actually the heavily modified third stage of the Saturn V – is already in serious trouble. Launch vibrations rip off one of the solar panels, and the other panel fails to automatically open. With less than two weeks before the first Skylab crew is due to lift off, the clock is ticking for mission planners to devise contingency and repair procedures.

Chasing the storm

Weather BulletinThe National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Oklahoma dispatches “storm chasers” to track, follow, and observe the behavior of storms in a predicted tornado outbreak. The chasers manage to document the complete development of a tornado in Union City, Oklahoma on film and on an experimental Doppler radar system; for the first time, large-scale cloud rotation at high altitude is observed on radar prior to the appearance of a funnel cloud, a key discovery in tornado prediction. This phenomenon, called the Tornadic Vortex Signature, is a precursor to virtually every radar-detected tornado.

Skylab 2: save the station!

SkylabThe first three-man Skylab crew lifts off to undertake a mission far different from the one for which they had trained. Their primary objective is now to save the crippled station from the damage it suffered during launch; as it is, Skylab is uninhabitable, with temperatures in its workshop and crew quarters soaring above 100 degrees, threatening to heat up items inside enough to fill the space with toxic gases. The first repair spacewalk takes place less than 24 hours after the crew arrives in an Apollo capsule, and succeeds in starting to drop the temperature inside.

Skylab 2: risky repair job

SkylabTwo members of Skylab‘s first three-man crew undertake a three-and-a-half-hour spacewalk to take on the most difficult and dangerous part of the repairs to the space station: freeing a jammed solar “wing” required to provide almost half of the station’s electrical power. With no handholds and only tethers keeping them anchored to the station, astronauts Pete Conrad and Joseph Kerwin have a hard time even reaching the solar panel, and are knocked loose when, after overexerting themselves trying to manually pull the panel free, it jerks open; with only their tethers keeping them attached to Skylab, it’s a potentially life-threatening situation for both. Conrad, the third man to walk on the moon, later admits that the Skylab repair spacewalk gave him much greater concern for his own survival.