Project UFO Sighting 4024: The Scoutmaster Incident

Project UFOThe 23rd episode of Harold Jack Bloom’s sci-fi series Project UFO airs on NBC, portraying fictionalized investigations into what the show claims are actual cases from the U.S. Air Force’s Project Blue Book investigations. Edward Winter and Caskey Swaim star. With ratings having fallen throughout the second season, the series is cancelled, with three remaining episodes to be “burned off” during the summer months.

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Voyager 1: Jupiter ahead!

JupiterFrom a distance of 36 million miles, NASA/JPL’s unmanned spacecraft Voyager 1 can already see the planet Jupiter in far greater detail than the cameras aboard Pioneers 10 and 11. Over the next month, Voyager 1 records images as it closes in on its first planetary target, spotting roiling storm clouds and fluid cloud bands with unprecedented clarity; JPL assembles the images into a “movie.” Despite the size of Jupiter at the end of the sequence, Voyager 1 is still over a month away from its closest pass to the giant planet.

Blake’s 7: Redemption

Blake's 7BBC1 premieres the 14th episode of Terry Nation’s science fiction series Blake’s 7, the first episode of the series’ second season. This episode concludes a trilogy spanning the first and second seasons, involving the acquisition of a supercomputer called Orac. Resident voice artist Peter Tuddenham adds the voice of Orac to his duties (he already voices the ship’s computer, Zen).

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Salvage 1

Salvage 1The pilot movie of the series Salvage 1 airs on ABC, starring Andy Griffith, Joel Higgins (Silver Spoons), and Trish Stewart. Richard Jaeckel (Spenser For Hire) guest stars. More of a modern-day action series than a science fiction series, the show concerns a home-grown salvage operation, complete with a privately owned rocket, that can retrieve pieces of American space hardware from the moon.

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STA-099 to OV-099

ChallengerWith a newly-awarded NASA contract in hand, Rockwell International begins the process of converting Space Shuttle Structural Test Article 099 into the Orbiter Vehicle 099, later to be christened Space Shuttle Challenger. A process originally envisioned for the test vehicle Enterprise, it is deemed more cost-effective and faster to upgrade STA-099 into OV-099. The first order of business is the construction of a new crew module, since the corresponding section of STA-099 was never actually intended to house human beings.

Christening the fleet

Space ShuttleAfter several years of referring to the various Space Shuttle orbiters both under construction and in planning by numbers, NASA bestows names upon the anticipated fleet of four orbiters. OV-102, which is still expected to fly “late this year”, is named Columbia, while OV-099, undergoing conversion from a test article to flight-worthy vehicle, is named Challenger. Orbiters 103 and 104 will be named, respectively, Discovery and Atlantis; all four names are drawn from historical seafaring exploration vessels. (NASA has also used some of the names before: Columbia was the name of the moon-orbiting command module in the Apollo 11 mission, while Apollo 17’s lunar lander was named Challenger.)

Blake’s 7: Pressure Point

Blake's 7BBC1 premieres the 18th episode of Terry Nation’s science fiction series Blake’s 7. Jane Sherwin guest stars. This episode is the beginning of a story arc running through the remainder of the second season, concerning Blake’s search for the Federation’s central control facility; to up the stakes, the character of Gan (played by David Jackson) is killed off, though the first choice of series creator Terry Nation would have been the popular character of Vila.

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Supertrain

SupertrainThe TV movie-of-the-week Supertrain airs on NBC, starring Edward Andrews and Patrick Collins. The movie revolves around the inaugural cross-country trip of an atomic-powered luxury passenger train; the expense involved in creating the sets and miniatures for that train will prove to be an expensive debacle for NBC when the ratings drop perilously for the weekly episodes afterward. Steve Lawrence, Char Fontane, Don Stroud, and Keenan Wynn guest star.

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Split Enz sparks a Frenzy

Split EnzMushroom Records releases the fourth Split Enz album, Frenzy, recorded after a long period of unemployment for the band, which went to the UK to find fame and became stranded there, too broke to return home. Most members of the group are dissatisfied with the finished album, feeling that it lacks the spark of demos they recorded during their England downtime, but it yields a genuine hit: Tim Finn’s punk-styled anthem “I See Red”.

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