ESSA-9

ESSAThe recently-rechristened Environmental Sciences Service Administration launches, with the help of NASA, ESSA-9, the latest in a constellation of weather satellites. ESSA-9 is the last weather satellite to carry the ESSA designation, as the government reorganizes ESSA into a new agency, NOAA, the following year. ESSA-9 remains in service until 1972.

Project UFO Sighting 4002: The Joshua Flats Incident

Project UFOThe second episode of Harold Jack Bloom’s sci-fi series Project UFO airs 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. BarBara Luna (Star Trek, Buck Rogers In The 25th Century) guest stars.

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GOES-7 goes up

GOES-7NOAA’s GOES-7 Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite is launched from Cape Canaveral into a geosynchronous orbit now designated GOES-EAST to monitor weather patterns over the United States. Originally intended for a 1986 launch, GOES-7 has been kept on the ground by the investigation into the destruction just after launch of its predecessor, GOES-G. GOES-7 will become the first of the GOES satellites to operate in both the GOES-EAST and GOES-WEST orbits, and will be retired from active weather-watching duty in 1999, becoming a communications relay satellite until it is decommissioned in 2012.

Sci-Fi Channel passes on Babylon 5 spinoff

CrusadeBabylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski reveals online that the Sci-Fi Channel has decided to pass on the B5 spinoff/sequel series Crusade for budgetary reasons, effectively ending any chance that the show will bounce back from its cancellation by cable network TNT. Warner Bros. continues to try to find a new home for the series, which has yet to air a single episode, but with actors’ contracts expiring with the halt of production and Stracynzski considering offers to write and produce other projects, Crusade never progresses past its 13 completed episodes. TNT schedules those episodes for a summer run.

More about Babylon 5 and Crusade in the LogBook

Bill Paxton, actor, dies

Bill PaxtonActor Bill Paxton, who played both starring and supporting roles in movies such as Aliens, The Terminator, Predator 2, Weird Science, Apollo 13, Twister, and Tombstone, dies at the age of 61. Paxton worked behind the scenes in the early years of his career, alternating between working for legendary B-movie director Roger Corman, and playing small roles on screen. He directed the film clip for the Barnes & Barnes song “Fish Heads” (which was co-written and performed by Bill Mumy). Paxton died from complications that arose during heart surgery.