STS-59

Space ShuttleNASA launches Space Shuttle Endeavour on an 11-day mission to carry the Space Radar Laboratory experiment into orbit. The radar systems map sites on Earth and test other applications for orbital radar. Aboard Endeavour for her sixth flight are Commander Sidney Gutierrez, Pilot Kevin Chilton, Payload Commander Linda Godwin, and mission specialists Jay Apt, Michael Clifford and Thomas Jones.

GOES-8 goes up

GOES-8NOAA’s GOES-8 Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite is launched from Cape Canaveral into a geosynchronous orbit now designated GOES-EAST to monitor weather patterns over the United States; its predecessor, GOES-7, takes up the GOES-WEST position. GOES-8 is a major design evolution in the GOES weather satellite series, incorporating new hardware, some of which proves to be less sturdy than is required for an extensive orbital tour of duty. GOES-8 will remain in the GOES-EAST orbit until it is retired from active weather-watching duty in 2003 and shut down in 2004.

Clementine goes off course

ClementineNASA’s Clementine lunar orbiter, its moon mapping mission complete, is directed to fire its engines to put it on a trajectory for asteroid 1620 Geographos, a near-Earth asteroid named for the National Geographic Society (which sponsored a sky survey that led to its discovery). But one of Clementine’s thrusters stays on too long, firing for 11 minutes and revving the vehicle up to an unrecoverable spin of 80 revolutions per minute, exhausting its entire fuel supply in the process. Clementine’s secondary mission to Geographos is abandoned, and its batteries are exhausted a month later.

TekJustice

TekWarThe TV movie TekJustice, the fourth feature-length movie based on William Shatner’s cyberpunk novel series, premieres in syndication. The Canadian-made movie stars Greg Evigan (My Two Dads), Eugene Clark (Night Heat), William Shatner (Star Trek), and Torri Higginson (Stargate Atlantis), and features Sandahl Bergman (Conan The Barbarian, Xanadu). This is the final movie in the TekWar series; it will resume as a weekly TV series airing as part of the Universal Action Pack syndication package in December 1994.

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Babylon 5’s change of command

Michael O'HareBabylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski announces to fans on the GEnie online service that a new commander character is being created and cast for the show’s second season, following an amicable decision to part ways with actor Michael O’Hare, who played Commander Jeffrey Sinclair in the series’ first season. The possibility of O’Hare returning as a guest star to continue Sinclair’s story is also raised. Details of the new character, and the actor playing that character, are still under wraps.

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Soyuz TM-19

Soyuz TM-19Soyuz TM-19 lifts off from Kazakhstan, on a mission to the Russian space station Mir with cosmonauts Yuri Malenchenko and Talgat Musabayev aboard. Over the course of their 125-day stay, the crew joins Dr. Valery Polyakov aboard Mir, in the middle of his record-shattering 420-day stay in space. Malenchenko and Musabayev conduct 11 hours worth of spacewalks to repair Mir’s exterior insulation and other minor maintenance, and returns home in November 1994 with German astronaut Ulf Merbold.

STS-65

Space ShuttleSpace Shuttle Columbia is launched on the 63rd mission of the shuttle program. For two weeks, Columbia’s crew participates in the second IML (International Microgravity Laboratory) flight, conducting experiments relying on zero G around the clock. Columbia is also in orbit during the 25th anniversary of Apollo 11, the moon landing mission whose command/service module was also named Columbia. Aboard for Columbia’s 17th flight are Commander Robert Cabana, Pilot James Halsell, Payload Commander Richard Hieb, mission specialists Carl Walz, Leroy Chiao and Donald Thomas, and payload specialist Chiaki Naito-Mukai, the first Japanese woman in space.