2015: Escape Pod: January 31st —
2013: NASA will launch huge solar sail in 2014 — NASA announces plans to launch an experimental unmanned test vehicle called Sunjammer into orbit in 2014, as a test of solar sail technology. Though not the first solar sail ever launched, Sunjammer be will the largest by far, its mainsail being incredibly thin Kapton with a surface area of 13,000 feet. The objective of the flight is to unfurl the sail and then use the solar wind to propel it to the L1 Earth-Sun LaGrange point nearly 2,000,000 miles from Earth. Sunjammer will be lifted into orbit by a SpaceX rocket in 2014, with both NASA and NOAA keeping a close eye on the results.
2001: Voyager: Repentance — UPN airs the 158th episode of Star Trek: Voyager. More about Star Trek: Voyager in the LogBook
2000: Mission accomplished again! Now do more. — Completing its extended two-year tour of Jupiter and its intriguing moons Io and Europa, NASA's Galileo robotic probe is given another extension, this time called the Galileo Millennium Mission. Highlights are expected to include observing Jupiter in tandem with the Cassini unmanned probe, which will swing by Jupiter in 2000 to gain a gravity assist en route to its own final target, Saturn. Galileo will also resume its exploration of the major Jovian moon Ganymede, the solar system's largest satellite.
1997: Red Dwarf: Ouroboros — The 39th episode of the science fiction comedy Red Dwarf airs on BBC 2. This episode introduces new series regular Chloe Annett as an alternate-universe Kochanski who becomes stuck with the Red Dwarf crew, a character addition that proved controversial with fandom after the exit of Chris Barrie. More about Red Dwarf in the LogBook
1994: Star Trek: TNG: Sub Rosa — The week-long national syndication window opens for the 165th episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Duncan Regehr (Wizards & Warriors) guest stars. More about Star Trek: The Next Generation in the LogBook
1994: Star Trek: DS9: Whispers — The week-long national syndication window opens for the 33rd episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. More about Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in the LogBook
1989: Roy Orbison: Mystery Girl — Roy Orbison's final album, Mystery Girl, is released just weeks after the musician's death on Virgin Records. With interest in Orbison riding high with the relatively recent success of the Traveling Wilburys, Mystery Girl sells better than most of his previous work. More about Roy Orbison in Music Reviews
1981: Doctor Who: Keeper Of Traken, Part 1 — The 546th episode of Doctor Who airs on BBC1. This is the beginning of a trilogy of stories themed around the Doctor's regeneration and the reintroduction of the Master. Sarah Sutton makes her debut as Nyssa. Anthony Ainley guest stars. More about Doctor Who in the LogBook
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1980: Buck Rogers: Twiki Is Missing — NBC airs the 16th episode of Buck Rogers In The 25th Century. More about Buck Rogers In The 25th Century in the LogBook
1977: Children Of The Stones: Narrowing Circle — UK regional broadcaster HTV premieres the fourth episode of children's paranormal series Children Of The Stones, starring Gareth Thomas (Blake's 7) and Freddie Jones (Dune). The series is filmed on location near the real stone circle at Avebury. More about Children Of The Stones in the LogBook
1976: Doctor Who: The Seeds Of Doom, Part 1 — The 422nd episode of Doctor Who airs on BBC1. Tony Beckley and John Challis guest star. More about Doctor Who in the LogBook Order VWORP!1 from theLogBook.com Media
1975: Shuttle schedule slippage — 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 manned spaceflight when NASA was anticipating (and publicizing) a gap of no more than two years. (In actuality, the time between manned American space missions will be even longer than that.)
1970: Doctor Who and the Silurians, Part 1 — The 258th episode of Doctor Who airs on the BBC. Fulton MacKay, Paul Darrow (Blake's 7) and Peter Miles guest star. This is the first story to feature the Silurians. More about Doctor Who in the LogBook Order VWORP!1 from theLogBook.com Media
1969: Star Trek: The Lights Of Zetar — The 73rd episode of Gene Roddenberry's science fiction series Star Trek airs on NBC. This episode is co-written by Shari Lewis, better known as the puppeteer behind Lambchop. More about Star Trek in the LogBook
1969: Trashing the TARDIS — The BBC archives erase dozens more episodes of Doctor Who due to an ongoing space crunch and an impending change of video standard from 405-line PAL to 625-line PAL. Whereas the first round of tape-wiping in 1967 was targeted at episodes involving the first Doctor, this round marks episodes featuring the current Doctor, Patrick Troughton, for deletion. The fourth episode of The Tenth Planet - Hartnell's swan song in the role of the Doctor - is erased at this time, as well as a curious scattershot selection of Troughton episodes.
1961: Mercury 2: canned Ham — The first living creature to reach space aboard an American rocket is Ham, a chimpanzee wired with electrodes and sensors to determine the effects of space travel on a higher primate whose body might react similarly to that of a human being. NASA sends Ham on the sixteen-minute suborbital Mercury 2 flight, ending in a splashdown in the Atlantic. Both Ham and his vehicle survive the flight despite numerous equipment glitches in both the Redstone rocket and the Mercury capsule itself (which actually blasts away from the Redstone via its launch abort system), which loses cabin pressure (fortunately, Ham has his own spacesuit to protect him) and then puts its primate pilot through a punishing 17G reentry. For his pioneering feat of spaceflight, Ham receives an apple, an orange, and paid retirement to the National Zoo.
1958: Explorer 1 — The United States succeeds in launching its own artificial satellite, Explorer 1, atop a Juno 1 rocket. Instruments developed by Dr. James Van Allen reveal the existence of radiation surrounding the Earth, and the areas of radiation are subsequently named the Van Allen radiation belts. The satellite itself is designed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and remains in orbit until 1970 - just the first hint of JPL's knack for making spacecraft that last longer than their rated lifespans.
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