Sagan: let’s terraform Venus

Carl SaganIn the journal Science, Carl Sagan proposes an audacious scheme to alter the chemistry of the atmosphere of Venus, making it habitable for humans. His plan involves depositing algae colonies into the planet’s clouds to begin converting the planet’s carbon dioxide into breathable oxygen, and the idea is years ahead of its time (and will later prove to be impractical when more direct studies are made of the Venusian atmosphere).

Star Trek: from cancellation to syndication

Star TrekHaving completed its purchase of Desilu Studios, Paramount runs the first print advertisement in Vol. 76, Issue 12 of Broadcasting Magazine, offering Star Trek reruns in syndication. Even though the last episode has yet to air on NBC, it is perhaps telling that the ad promises a set number of “79 episodes of constant quality, now being seen in over 65 countries around the world” – confirmation that there will be no further episodes beyond the current season.

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Pac-Man comes home

Pac-ManAfter an extremely short development period and industry insider warnings that the finished product wasn’t ready for prime time, Atari’s home version of Pac-Man for the Atari VCS arrives in stores, selling record numbers… and, within weeks, becomes the subject of bad word-of-mouth and critical slams on its weak game play and graphics. At the urging of Atari CEO Ray Kassar, Pac-Man‘s print run exceeds the number of VCS consoles sold to date, since it’s anticipated that the Pac-crazed public will buy the console simply because Pac-Man is available for it.

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STS-45NASA launches Space Shuttle Atlantis on the 46th shuttle mission, carrying the Spacelab-based ATLAS (Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science) experiment module. Aboard Atlantis for the nearly-nine-day flight are Commander Charles Bolden, Pilot Brian Duffy, Payload Commander Kathyrn Sullivan, mission specialists David Leestma and Michael Foale, and payload specialists Byron Lichtenberg and Dirk Frimout. NASA extends the mission by one day to accomodate additional experiments.

Super Force: King Of The Trees

Super ForceThe 39th 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). Wrestler Kevin Nash guest stars.

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Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9

Shoemaker-Levy 9Astronomers on Earth discover a comet like none seen before: having flown close to Jupiter in July 1992, the comet has broken into multiple pieces in a configuration that its discoverers call “a string of pearls.” Calculations of the orbit of the newly detected comet, named Shoemaker-Levy 9 after the team that discovered it, reveal something stunning: the orbit of the fragments will bring them back to Jupiter in just over a year, at which point they are expected to collide with the planet rather than pass it by or go into orbit. Not only does this give Earth-based astronomers time to coordinate observations, but NASA has an ace in the hole: the entire event will be witnessed by the unmanned Galileo probe as it makes its final approach to the giant planet.

Star Trek: Discovery: Welcome To Section 31

Star Trek: DiscoveryA very brief untitled extra scene following on from the season finale of Star Trek: Discovery is made available on YouTube by CBS All Access, starring Michelle Yeoh and Alan Van Sprang in a setup for a storyline in Discovery’s second season. The short scene also serves as a trial run for an upcoming series of short stories set in the Star Trek universe, Short Treks, which will debut later in 2018.

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