The U.S. Weather Bureau uses a mobile Doppler radar transmitting and receiving in the 3cm bandwidth to measure wind speeds in a tornado striking El Dorado, Kansas, which kills 13 people living in that city. With Doppler radar’s ability to detect and measure the velocity of wind and rain moving toward and away from the radar itself, it is ideally suited for tornado observations and detection. This mobile radar is later given to the Bureau’s National Severe Storms Laboratory in the 1960s, and is the beginning of a lengthy research program that culminates in the nationwide rollout of Doppler-based NEXRAD (Next Generation Radar) in the 1990s.
The 34th episode of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone airs on CBS. Anne Francis stars in an episode written by Serling.
The 166th episode of Doctor Who airs on the BBC. This is the second Doctor’s second and final encounter with the Daleks, and this story also introduces Deborah Watling as new companion Victoria Waterfield. This episode is now missing from the BBC’s archives.
The Air Force officially cancels its plans for Manned Orbiting Laboratory, a space station in development that would have used Gemini capsules and technology to build and maintain a military outpost in space. The airmen selected as MOL crew members are transferred to NASA, where some of them will go on to fly the Space Shuttle, a vehicle whose design is still in its infancy at this point. The Air Force is also consulted on its military satellite launch needs, which are taken into account in the design of the shuttle.
The 327th episode of Doctor Who airs on BBC1. Roger Delgado guest stars as the Master; future Star Wars star David Prowse appears as the Minotaur.
No sooner has Paramount’s movie arm axed Star Trek‘s big screen comeback than the studio’s television division announces the unthinkable: Paramount will form its own network, to premiere in February 1978, taking on ABC, CBS, and NBC in prime time. Leading off the new network’s first night will be a two-hour, made-for-TV Star Trek movie starring William Shatner and most of the original cast (with Leonard Nimoy notable by his absence), who will then go on to star in a weekly series chronicling the further adventure of the Enterprise. Gene Roddenberry will return as the creator of the new series. But within just a few weeks, it becomes apparent that the “big three” networks are ready to play hardball to keep Paramount’s network off the air, from leaning on their advertisers to avoid buying ad time on the new network, to quietly threatening to stop picking up Paramount-produced series for their own fall schedules.
ITV airs the fifth episode of the HTV West-produced children’s fantasy series Into The Labyrinth, co-created by Bob Baker (Sky, Doctor Who, K-9) and starring Ron Moody and Pamela Salem.
Its primary mission satisfactorily completed, the NASA/ESA ISEE-3 (International Sun-Earth Explorer 3) satellite has a surplus of maneuvering fuel left over, and is given a new mission: it begins a series of over a dozen maneuvers utilizing both thrusters and gravity-assists, intended to push it out of its LaGrange point between Earth and the sun and toward a 1985 rendezvous with Comet Giacobinni-Zinner. Upon its final maneuver in 1983, ISEE-3 will be renamed ICE (International Cometary Explorer) and, after the complex series of course changes, will be perfectly targeted for its 1985 comet encounter.
Konami introduces the arcade game Tutankham in the United States through licensee Stern. A running firefight through a maze, Tutankham tasks players on a deadly treasure hunting mission with a rarity for an arcade game – a definite end goal.
A&M Records releases the first solo album by Sting, The Dream of the Blue Turtles. The album features the singles “If You Love Somebody, Set Them Free” and “Fortress Around Your Heart”.
The 11th episode of the sci-fi crime series TekWar, based on William Shatner’s novel series, airs as part of the Universal Action Pack syndication package. Greg Evigan, William Shatner, and Maria del Mar (Mercy Point) star.
This series is not yet chronicled in the LogBook. You could help change that.
The week-long national syndication window opens for the 95th episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The episode is directed by series regular Avery Brooks.
Cable channel TNT premieres And All My Dreams, Torn Asunder, the 104th episode of J. Michael Straczynski’s science fiction series Babylon 5.
The 721st episode of Doctor Who (the 23rd since the series’ revival) airs on BBC1. Danny Webb, Shaun Parks and Will Thorp guest star; this is the conclusion of a two-part story.
Japan’s unmanned Kaguya spacecraft, also known as SELENE, is intentionally crashed into the surface of Earth’s moon, which it has been orbiting and studying for nearly two years (twice its intended one-year operational lifetime). Having completed its observations and studies (as well as transmitting back to Earth high-definition camera views of the moon from orbit), Kaguya impacts near the crater Gill.