It happened today…

Published On: December 13, 2012

Asteroid 4179 ToutatisOriginally launched by China to orbit the moon in 2010, and later parked at a LaGrange point beyond the moon’s orbit, the unmanned Chang’e 2 space probe flies by asteroid 4179 Toutatis at a distance of under two miles, capturing the first close-up images of the asteroid as it passes Earth almost half a million miles away. Though 4179 Toutatis has been imaged by ground-based radar on several occasions during its semi-frequent visits to the inner solar system, this is the first space probe to visit it at close range. As of this encounter, Chang’e 2 is the most distant Chinese spacecraft from Earth.

Published On: December 13, 2002

Star Trek NemesisStar Trek: Nemesis, the fourth and final feature film of the Star Trek: The Next Generation movie franchise, premieres. Directed by Stuart Baird and co-written by Brent “Data” Spiner, Nemesis falls flat at the box office (and even before its opening day, Paramount is already promoting it as the last voyage of the Star Trek: TNG cast). The next movie in the franchise takes a radically different approach to the Star Trek universe.

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Published On: December 13, 1998

The X-FilesThe 123rd episode of Chris Carter’s modern-day science fiction series The X-Files airs on Fox, starring Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny. Lily Tomlin (9 To 5, The Incredible Shrinking Woman) and Ed Asner (Lou Grant) guest star.

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Published On: December 13, 1990

The FlashThe ninth episode of the superhero series The Flash, based on the DC Comics character, airs on CBS, starring John Wesley Shipp and Amanda Pays. Ian Abercrombie (Birds Of Prey) guest stars.

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Published On: December 13, 1985

Misfits Of ScienceThe ninth episode of James D. Parriott’s lighthearted sci-fi series, Misfits Of Science, airs on NBC, starring Dean Paul Martin, Kevin Peter Hall, and Courteney Cox. Joel Polis (The Thing) guest stars. Story credit (but not script credit) for this episode is given to 28-year-old Tim Kring, the future creature of the 21st century superhero series Heroes.

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