Building Arecibo

AreciboProposed and designed by Cornell University, and funded by the Adavanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), the Arecibo Ionospheric Research Center – a thousand-foot radar and radio telescope dish – begins construction in a natural limestone bowl south of Barrio Esparanza, Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Construction will take over three years, at a cost of nearly $10,000,000, with a steel feed receiver structure supported in mid-air over the parabolic dish by some five miles of steel cables. Facilities are constructed for scientists visiting the eventual facility, and additional facilities are constructed to shape aluminum into the mesh structure of the telescope dish on-site, a more economical approach than having those parts of the telescope shipped in from outside. Though conceived and pitched as a means of studying the ionosphere, with possible defense applications such as missile detection, the Arecibo facility will makes its best known contributions to astronomy after it opens.

Doctor Who: The Evil Of The Daleks, Part 7

Doctor WhoThe 169th episode of Doctor Who airs on the BBC. This is the second Doctor’s second and final encounter with the Daleks, though it is the last Dalek story (and, barring a brief glimpse on a viewscreen in 1969’s The War Games, the last Dalek appearance) for the remainder of the 1960s. Dalek creator Terry Nation withdraws the BBC’s rights to use the Daleks in Doctor Who, intending to launch the Doctor’s enemies in their own series, possibly in America. The prospective Doctor-less Dalek series never comes to pass, and the Cybermen reign as the second Doctor’s most enduring recurring enemies as a result. The Daleks do not headline a Doctor Who story again for five years. This concludes the fourth season of Doctor Who, the show’s first post-regeneration season, and marks the end of producer Innes Lloyd’s tenure as showrunner. This episode is now missing from the BBC’s archives.

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Soyuz TM-17

Soyuz TM-17The Russian spacecraft Soyuz TM-17 lifts off from Kazakhstan, bound for space station Mir. Cosmonauts Vasili Tsibliyev, Aleksandr Serebrov replace the incumbent station crew, staying aboard Mir for 196 days, while Jean-Pierre Haigneré returns to Earth with the previous Mir crew aboard Soyuz TM-16 after a three-week stay. When the crew leaves Mir in January 1994, their departure is anything but routine, as Tsibliyev is unable to prevent a collision between Mir and the departing Soyuz.

Soyuz TM-19

Soyuz TM-19Soyuz TM-19 lifts off from Kazakhstan, on a mission to the Russian space station Mir with cosmonauts Yuri Malenchenko and Talgat Musabayev aboard. Over the course of their 125-day stay, the crew joins Dr. Valery Polyakov aboard Mir, in the middle of his record-shattering 420-day stay in space. Malenchenko and Musabayev conduct 11 hours worth of spacewalks to repair Mir’s exterior insulation and other minor maintenance, and returns home in November 1994 with German astronaut Ulf Merbold.

TekWar: Forget Me Not

TekWarThe 14th 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. With ratings low compared to the other Universal Action Pack offerings, the series is cancelled, with the remaining episodes scheduled to be “burned off” early the following year.

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Babylon 5: To Dream In The City Of Sorrows

Babylon 5Dell Books releases the Babylon 5 novel “To Dream In The City Of Sorrows“, written by Kathryn M. Drennan (also writer of the first season B5 episode By Any Means Necessary). The book chronicles the life of Commander Sinclair following his departure from Babylon 5, his arrival on Minbar, and his eventual rise to the position of Entil’Zha – leader of the Rangers. The novel fills in many gaps left in Sinclair’s story on television, and is considered an official part of the show’s storyline.

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STS-94: do-over in space

Space ShuttleFor the first and only time in the history of the American space program, a previously aborted mission is flown with the same vehicle, cargo and crew. Space Shuttle Columbia returns to orbit with Spacelab in its cargo bay for an attempt to fully carry out the aborted STS-83 mission, which was recalled to Earth in April. This time, the mission is successful, with nearly 16 days of microgravity experiments carried out by the crew. Flying Columbia – again – are Commander James Halsell, Pilot Susan Still, Payload Commander Janice Voss, mission specialists Donald Thomas and Michael Gernhardt, and payload specialists Roger Crouch and Greg Linteris.

Cassini arrives at Saturn

SaturnAfter a journey of seven years, gravity-assist slingshots past Earth, Venus and Jupiter, a plunge through Saturn’s ring-plane, and an engine burn of over an hour just to slow it down, the NASA/ESA space probe Cassini becomes the first man-made object to orbit Saturn. The trip has already paid off: Cassini has spotted never-before-seen features in Saturn’s immense rings, and succeeds in piercing Titan’s atmosphere with infrared imaging to provide one of the first-ever glimpses of the huge moon’s cloud-covered surface. Titan will also receive a visit from Cassini’s Huygens probe in 2005.