ABC airs the 12th episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker, based on the 1973 TV movie The Night Stalker and starring Darren McGavin.
Soyuz 17 is launched by the Soviet Union, carring cosmonauts Alexei Gubarev and Georgi Grechko to the Salyut 4 space station. The two men move into the station for a month-long stay, breaking the previous Soviet space record, and proceed to conduct several science experiments. Discovering that the mirror of Salyut 4’s on-board telescope is warped, the crew resurfaces it in orbit and repairs the telescope. When Soyuz 17 returns to Earth, the crew is in for one of the bumpiest landings of the Soviet space program to date, landing in a blizzard with 45mph winds at ground level. Despite this, the vehicle lands safely and the crew is not injured.
After years of studies into the feasibility of constructing a nationwide disaster alert system, NOAA Weather Radio is officially designated the “sole government operated radio system” for both weather-related disasters and other major emergency announcements (nuclear attacks are specifically mentioned in the declaration from President Ford). This shift in policy toward using the National Weather Service’s radio infrastructure for all potential disaster situations is at least partially inspired by the April 1974 tornado “Super Outbreak” in the midwest. For the first time, Congress approves a budget earmarked specifically for weather radio, topping $3,000,000 for expansion in 1976.
ABC airs the 13th episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker, based on the 1973 TV movie The Night Stalker and starring Darren McGavin. Jamie Farr (M*A*S*H) and Katharine Woodville guest star.
NASA launches its second Landsat satellite, originally named ERTS-2 (Earth Resource Technology Satellite) and still based on the Nimbus experimental weather and Earth-observation satellites. Originally intended to be online for a year, Landsat 2 functions through 1982, carrying a suite of instruments and sensors nearly identical to that of Landsat 1.
ABC airs the 14th episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker, based on the 1973 TV movie The Night Stalker and starring Darren McGavin. Bernie Koppell (The Love Boat) and Lara Parker (Dark Shadows) guest star.
One day before deorbiting the vacant space station for reentry into Earth’s atmosphere, Soviet military space officials fire the anti-aircraft cannon mounted on the exterior of space station Salyut 3 – the first test of spacecraft-to-spacecraft weapons in history (though there is no target on which to test the ammunition rounds). Without a steerable mount, in practice, the entire Salyut 3 station would need to have been pointed at the gun’s target. The station is destroyed by friction upon atmospheric reentry a day later.
Fawcett publishes the novel Phoenix Without Ashes by Edward Bryant, based upon the original premise of the short-lived early ’70s Canadian television series The Starlost, created by Harlan Ellison; Ellison himself expounds on the trials and tribulations of making that show in an extended foreword.
ABC airs the 15th episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker, based on the 1973 TV movie The Night Stalker and starring Darren McGavin. Jim Backus (Gilligan’s Island) and Larry Linville (M*A*S*H) guest star in an episode co-written by Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis, who would collaborate years later on Back To The Future.
With the final Apollo spacecraft’s flight mere months away, an internal NASA document examining the progress of the Space Shuttle program, approved in 1972 by President Nixon, spells out what seems like a worst-case scenario: thanks to the difficulties of creating whole new orders of technology to create a reusable space vehicle (on a budget which each successive Congress keeps slashing), the shuttle won’t be lifting off until 1979 at the earliest, leaving a potential four-year gap in American crewed spaceflight when NASA was anticipating (and publicizing) a gap of no more than two years. (In actuality, the time between crewed American space missions will be even longer than that.)
ABC airs the 16th episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker, based on the 1973 TV movie The Night Stalker and starring Darren McGavin. Andrew Prine and Keenan Wynn guest star.
ABC airs the 17th episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker, based on the 1973 TV movie The Night Stalker and starring Darren McGavin. Erik Estrada (CHiPS) guest stars.