China’s Shenzhou 11 mission is launched, the country’s sixth crewed flight, with a two-man crew consisting of Jing Haipeng (veteran of the Shenzhou 7 and Shenzhou 9 missions) and rookie taikonaut Chen Dong. The vehicle’s destination is the recently-launched Tiangong-2 space station, where it berths for nearly a month, giving the crew more room to perform experiments and Earth observations. Shenzhou 11 returns to Earth in November after a full month in orbit.
The 30th episode of the Star Trek prequel spinoff Enterprise premieres on UPN.
NASA/JPL’s Galileo unmanned space probe makes the closest flybys yet of Io, the volcanically hyperactive moon of Jupiter which made headlines when Voyager scientists spotted an eruption in 1980. The new images give the best view yet of Io’s inhospitable surface, including a volcanic crater, 47 miles across, named after the Brazilian god of thunder, Tupan Patera – an eye-searingly colorful region even in natural light.
The week-long national syndication window opens for the 74th episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
The week-long national syndication window opens for the 51st episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Kathryn Leigh Scott (Dark Shadows) and Ray Wise (Twin Peaks) guest star.
The 11th episode of the American-made Max Headroom series premieres on ABC, starring Matt Frewer and Amanda Pays. (This is the the American-made drama series, not the music video/talk show series featuring the same character.) W. Morgan Sheppard, Concetta Tomei, Bill Maher and Andreas Katsulas (Babylon 5) guest star. After this episode airs, ABC pulls the show from its prime time schedule for six months.
Decca Records releases the first solo album by Lindsey Buckingham, Long Distance Voyager, featuring the single “Trouble”.
NASA temporarily loses contact with unmanned space probe Voyager 1 as it cruises toward Saturn. A science experiment is conducted which requires Voyager to point its antenna away from Earth and enter a rolling maneuver, but ground controllers do not hear back from Voyager 1 when they expect to receive the signal that the experiment has ended. A tracking station in Australia sends a wide-beam command to Voyager 1 to reorient itself; it is later discovered that, attempting to regain its orientation with respect to Earth, Voyager 1’s star tracker locked on to Alpha Centauri instead of Canopus, pointing its antenna dish five degrees away from Earth. Normal operations resume once Voyager is pointed correctly. A similar problem will again cause Voyager 1 to break contact after a course correction burn in December.
ABC airs the sixth episode of Electra Woman & Dyna Girl, part of the Krofft Supershow Saturday morning children’s programming block. This is part two of a two-part story, each episode lasting only around 12 minutes.
The first in a new generation of weather satellites operating in geosynchronous orbit for the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, GOES-1, is launched from Cape Canaveral. An acronym for Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, GOES-1 is positioned over the Indian Ocean, where it is expected to become but the first in a constellation of weather satellites monitoring Earth’s atmosphere in both visible and infrared light. In 1978, GOES-1 will be repositioned over the Pacific Ocean, which it will monitor until it is decommissioned in 1985, after almost ten full years of operation.
The seventh episode of Sid & Marty Krofft’s Far-Out Space Nuts airs on CBS, starring Bob Denver (Gillgan’s Island) and Chuck McCann (Herbie Rides Again).
CBS airs the third episode of Rod Serling’s anthology series The Twilight Zone. Dan Duryea and Martin Landau (Space: 1999) star in a script written by Serling.