La-La Land Records releases Bear McCreary’s soundtrack from the fourth season of Sci-Fi Channel’s Battlestar Galactica reboot. The two-disc set covers much of the fourth season’s highlights on the first disc, with the entirety of the second CD containing music from the three-hour series finale, Daybreak.
TNT airs the eighth episode of J. Michael Straczynski’s short-lived Babylon 5 spinoff Crusade. This was the last episode produced, though not the last to air.
After weeks of rampant rumors, Paramount’s television division finally confirms that the upcoming seventh season of Star Trek: The Next Generation will mark the end of the series on television, with the TNG crew’s big-screen debut to begin filming almost immediately after production wraps on the TV series. Paramount declines comment on the possibility that yet another Star Trek series will replace TNG in syndication.
Nintendo launches a portable video game system with interchangeably cartrdiges, the Game Boy, in North America. Though many industry insiders predict a short life for the handheld game thanks to its ability to quickly drain its batteries and its black & white LCD display, the game included with each Game Boy – the incredibly popular puzzle game Tetris – becomes a selling point in itself. With a price tag of around $100, the entire million-unit allotment of Game Boys shipped to American stores sells out in under two months.
Mushroom Records releases the debut Split Enz album Mental Notes, the product of two months of concentrated recording sessions in Sydney, Australia (and three years of playing live and building a following). The album is a modest success story in Australia and the band’s native New Zealand, and is critically acclaimed for its originality.
With the first Skylab crew having salvaged the first American space station, the second crew – designated Skylab 3 – lifts off for another long-term stay in space. Alan Bean, Jack Lousma and Owen Garriott spend 59 days aboard Skylab, performing a spacewalk to conduct further repairs to their damaged space station, investigating the effects of long-duration weightlessness and space travel on the human body, and observing the sun through Skylab’s solar telescope system. A thruster leak in the Apollo command/service module forces NASA to consider a rescue mission.
ITV airs the 15th episode of Ace Of Wands, starring Michael McKenzie, Tony Selby and Judy Loe. Russell Hunter guest stars as Mr. Stabs. This episode, like the rest of the series’ first two seasons, is now missing from the archives.
NASA launches the Ranger 7 lunar probe, built by Jet Propulsion Laboratory and intended to go directly to the moon, transmitting pictures of the surface back to Earth until it impacts the lunar surface. Months of building system redundancies into the Ranger spacecraft have made this vehicle more likely to carry out its mission, and it becomes the first of the Ranger probes to reach the moon with its eyes open. Pictures are transmitted back to Earth as Ranger 7 plunges into the lunar surface near the Ocean of Storms, with photo resolution exceeding expectations. One of the ground controllers at JPL breaks open a jar of peanuts during Ranger 7’s final approach to the moon, starting a JPL tradition that lasts to this day.
British broadcaster ABC airs the fifth episode of science fiction anthology series Out Of This World. Written by Terry Nation (who will create the Daleks, Doctor Who’s most enduring foes, a year later), the story stars William Gaunt and Julian Glover, and is one of only two scripts in the series’ run that isn’t based on a prior literary work. This episode no longer exists in the archives.