Man will conquer space soon

Collier's, March 22, 1952Collier’s Magazine publishes an extensive pictorial article with text by space pioneers Wernher von Braun and Willy Ley, and illustrations by Chesley Bonestell, positing a future with plane-like spacecraft making routine trips to orbiting space stations. The article suggests that the station could be a reality in ten years and “twice the cost of the atom bomb” if the public shows its support for space exploration. Though spaceplanes and stations are more than a decade away, the Collier’s article is a seminal moment in the space age.

Star Wars begins filming

Star WarsWith a budget of $8,000,000 behind him, writer/director George Lucas begins filming his ambitious new science fiction film Star Wars. The location shooting in Tunisia is far from easy, with every thing from dust storms to the language barrier between the filmmakers and the locals impeding progress.

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Star Wars Radio: A Wind To Shake The Stars

Star Wars RadioThe first episode of Brian Daley’s radio drama adaptation of the science fiction blockbuster Star Wars airs on National Public Radio stations in the U.S. The series is produced by the NPR affiliate at the University of Southern California, where George Lucas attended film school (and to whom he sold the radio adaptation rights for the princely sum of one dollar). Mark Hamill and Anthony Daniels are the only actors to reprise their movie roles, with the rest of the characters being recast.

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Soyuz 39

Soyuz 39Soyuz 39 lifts off from the Soviet Union, carrying its two-man crew on a week-long spaceflight including a visit to space station Salyut 6. The crew consists of cosmonauts Vladimir Dzhanibekov and Jugderdemidiin Gurragchaa, the first Mongolian in space. In conjunction with the resident Salyut 6/Soyuz T-4 crew, they conduct scientific and engineering experiments, some of them studying the state of Salyut 6 after several years in orbit. The Soyuz 39 crew returns to Earth on March 30th.

STS-3

ColumbiaThe testing phase of the shuttle program continues as Space Shuttle Columbia lifts off for her third flight into space. With Commander Jack Lousma and Pilot C. Gordon Fullerton aboard, Columbia stays in orbit for over a week, testing the orbiter’s endurance to heat at different angles to the sun, as well as testing the unmanned Spacelab experiment pallets in the cargo bay. This is the first shuttle flight to end on the contingency landing site at White Sands, New Mexico.

Dark Shadows: Episode Twelve

Dark ShadowsThe 12th and final episode of a modern reboot of Dan Curtis’ gothic horror series Dark Shadows is broadcast on NBC, starring Ben Cross, Lysette Anthony, Roy Thinnes (The Invaders), and Jean Simmons.

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STS-76: third Shuttle-Mir docking

Space ShuttleSpace Shuttle Atlantis lifts off on the 76th shuttle mission, a flight to dock with the Russian space station Mir. Supplies are delivered to Mir by the Atlantis crew, and astronaut Shannon Lucid remains aboard Mir to join its Expedition 21 crew. Atlantis also carries the SPACEHAB module, where both the shuttle and station crews conduct joint scientific experiments. Aboard Atlantis for her 16th flight are Commander Kevin Chilton, Pilot Richard Searfoss, and mission specialists Shannon Lucid, Linda Godwin, Michael Clifford and Ronald Sega.

Dark Angel: Exposure

Dark AngelThe 37th episode of James Cameron & Charles H. Eglee’s cyberpunk series Dark Angel, starring Jessica Alba and Michael Weatherly, airs on Fox. Ashley Scott (Birds Of Prey, Jericho) and Callum Keith Rennie (Battlestar Galactica) guest star.

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Spirit signs off

SpiritNASA’s Spirit Mars rover makes its last contact with ground controllers on Earth. With the Martian winter fast approaching, and the rover’s wheels leaving it stuck in an unfavorable position to keep its solar panels angled toward the sun, Spirit gradually loses power until it shuts off, its mission having lasted nearly seven and a half years – almost 30 times its original design and mission lifespan of 90 days. Spirit’s ground controllers are reassigned to either Opportunity (which is still mobile and operating) or the upcoming Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover mission.

Arrow: Kapiushon

ArrowThe 109th episode of Arrow, a modern-day reboot of DC Comics’ Green Arrow superhero starring Stephen Amell, airs on the CW. Dolph Lundgren (Rocky IV, Masters Of The Universe, Universal Soldier) guest stars.

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The Expanse: The Weeping Somnambulist

The ExpanseThe 19th episode of the science fiction series The Expanse, based on the series of novels by James S.A. Corey (a pseudonym for writers Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham), is broadcast on cable channel Syfy. Terry Chen (Continuum) guest stars.

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