It happened today…

Published On: February 19, 2014

Dale GardnerShuttle astronaut Dale Gardner, who flew aboard space shuttle Challenger’s STS-8 mission in 1983 and the STS-51A mission aboard Discovery in 1984, dies unexpectedly. As a Mission Specialist aboard both flights, he participated in the risky task of manually retrieving a wayward satellite that was considered too large a target to risk snagging with the shuttle’s remote manipulator arm on the Discovery mission. Using one of the Manned Maneuvering Units that would fall out of favor during post-Challenger-disaster safety reviews, Gardner manually captured the satellite and helped to berth it in Discovery’s cargo bay (and then held up a “for sale” sign for the camera). Gardner left NASA and returned to the Air Force and then to civilian life following the Challenger disaster, and had recently retired just over a year before his death. He was 65.

Published On: February 19, 2004

La-La Land Records releases the soundtrack CD from the two-part Sci-Fi Channel miniseries rebooting Battlestar Galactica, with music by Richard Gibbs and Bear McCreary. The music from the miniseries sets the template for the scoring of the early episodes of the weekly series, though the musical style of the show expands rapidly under the direction of McCreary (Gibbs opts not to return for the series).

More about Battlestar Galactica soundtracks in Music Reviews

Published On: February 19, 2003

Birds Of PreyThe 12th and 13th episodes of the superhero series Birds Of Prey, based on characters from the DC Comics universe, air on the WB. Though the show has a vocal cult following, ratings for the series have not been particularly high, and these are the final episodes of the series. A movie with a completely different cast will revisit the Birds of Prey characters in 2020.

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Published On: February 19, 1996

TekWarThe 18th episode of the sci-fi crime series TekWar, based on William Shatner’s novel series, airs as part of the Universal Action Pack syndication package. One of Shatner’s daughter, Melanie Shatner (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier), guest stars in a script written by her sister, Lisabeth Shatner, who had also written an episode of Shatner’s 1980s cop show T.J. Hooker. This is the final episode of TekWar to be produced and aired.

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Published On: February 19, 1986

Mir launchThe Soviet Union launches the first module of its new Mir space station, a new modular station design building on the Soviets’ years of experience with the Salyut stations. One end of this “core” module is a six-sided structure, with docking ports on five sides; this design will allow new modules to be added onto Mir in all directions, and will potentially allow for several Soyuz or unmanned Progress cargo vehicles to be docked simultaneously, a design element which will later be carried forward to the International Space Station.

Published On: February 19, 1982

AvalancheImagic, recently formed from a group of ex-Atari programmers, releases its first wave of cartridges for the Atari VCS home video game system. The first group of games includes Demon Attack, the pool game Trick Shot and the first-person space flight sim Star Voyager. With silver foil boxes and game artwork utilizing miniature models, the Imagic games have a distinctive look on the store shelves, and the games themselves quickly acquire the company a good reputation..

More about Atari 2600 in Phosphor Dot Fossils

Published On: February 19, 1979

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”.

More about Split Enz in Music Reviews

Published On: February 19, 1978

Project UFOThe first episode of Harold Jack Bloom’s sci-fi series Project UFO premieres on NBC, portraying fictionalized investigations into what the show claims are actual cases from the U.S. Air Force’s Project Blue Book investigations. William Jordan (Beyond Westworld) and Caskey Swaim star; the series is produced by Jack Webb (Dragnet). Anne Schedeen (ALF) guest stars.

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Published On: February 19, 1967

It's About TimeThe 22nd episode of the time travel sitcom It’s About Time, created by Sherwood Schwarz (I Dream Of Jeannie) and starring Frank Aletter, Jack Mullaney, and Imogene Coca, is broadcast on CBS. Susan Brown guest stars.

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