Gemini 3

Gemini 3The first two-man American space crew lifts off in the first manned flight of NASA’s Gemini program. With a larger, more maneuverable spacecraft designed for longer stays in space, Gemini is intended to be a stepping stone on the path to the first lunar landing, allowing astronauts to practice rendezvous, docking, and orbital changes. Aboard the Gemini capsule are Mercury veteran Gus Grissom and rookie John Young; the capsule is unofficially nicknamed “Molly Brown” (a reference to Grissom’s sunken Mercury capsule). The flight lasts barely five hours and includes the first-ever orbital attitude changed made by a manned spacecraft.

Genesis II

Genesis IICBS premieres the made-for-TV movie Genesis II, starring Alex Cord, Mariette Hartley, Ted Cassidy, and Percy Rodrigues. Created and written by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, Genesis II is clearly a series pilot, the first of several attempts by Roddenberry to chart a career beyond Star Trek. The story concerns an astronaut named Dylan Hunt who is frozen in suspended animation, only reawakening after the fall of human civilization; the pilot does not result in a series pickup, though the story of Dylan Hunt will form the basis of Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda, a syndicated series produced in the early 2000s after Roddenberry’s death.

More about Gene Roddenberry’s 1970s pilot projects in the LogBook

Strange New World

Strange New WorldABC premieres the made-for-TV movie Strange New World, starring John Saxon, Keene Curtis, and Catherine Bach. Created by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry (but heavily rewritten by writers hired by Warner Bros.), Strange New World is the third attempt to build a series pilot around the story of an astronaut frozen in suspended animation and reawakened only after the fall of human civilization. Again, there is no series pickup, though the concept will eventually form the basis of Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda, a syndicated series produced in the early 2000s after Roddenberry’s death.

More about Gene Roddenberry’s 1970s pilot projects in the LogBook

Robin Of Sherwood: The Lord Of The Trees

Robin Of SherwoodThe ninth episode of Richard Carpenter’s fanciful retelling of the Robin Hood legend, Robin Of Sherwood, airs on ITV, starring Michael Praed, Mark Ryan, Judi Trott, and Nickolas Grace. Jeremy Bulloch (The Empire Strikes Back, Chocky) guest stars.

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Super Force: Carcinoma Angels

Super ForceThe 22nd episode of the science fiction crime drama Super Force is broadcast in syndication in North America, starring Ken Olandt, Larry B. Scott, and Patrick Macnee (The Avengers). Don Stroud and Marshall Teague guest star.

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Mir death experience

MirDespite attempts in recent years to keep the station in orbit for commercial purposes, the Russian space station Mir – originally launched in 1986 by the Soviet Union – is brought out of orbit with a deorbit burn fired by the engines of an attached unmanned Progress cargo vehicle. The largest space vehicle ever to plunge through Earth’s atmosphere, Mir breaks up over the south Pacific, where any surviving debris is expected to sink harmlessly into the ocean east of New Zealand. The fifteen-year-old station, having been designed with a service life of five years in mind, had been the site of the first joint Russian-American manned space operations since 1975, and led directly to both the contractual agreements and design of the International Space Station.

Not just water, but salt water, on Mars

MarsNASA scientists unveil new findings from the two Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. While both rovers have found evidence of water erosion in rocks at their respective landing sites, the scientists now say that Opportunity’s landing site – a large crater – features rocks which show conclusive evidence of a large body of salt water, not unlike Earth’s oceans. While no definitive signs of life have been found by Opportunity or its identical twin, these findings continue to add up to a picture of Mars as a place where life once could have thrived.