Tales Of Tomorrow: Ahead Of His Time

Tales Of TomorrowThe 41st episode of ABC’s science fiction anthology series, Tales Of Tomorrow, airs on ABC, with each episode’s opening titles proclaiming that the series is produced “in cooperation with the Science-Fiction League of America”, a collective of sci-fi writers including Isaac Asimov and Theodore Sturgeon among its members. This episode is written by, and stars, Paul Tripp.

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The Quatermass Experiment: Contact Has Been Established

The Quatermass ExperimentThe BBC airs the first episode of Nigel Kneale’s trend-setting science fiction series The Quatermass Experiment, starring Reginald Tate as Prof. Bernard Quatermass. Broadcast as a live play with minimal footage from other sources played back during air, this is also one of the earliest BBC drama productions archived on film, and one of the final drama productions to use the BBC’s vintage 1930s Alexandra Palace facilities.

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Did an asteroid kill the dinosaurs?

BOOOOOOOOOMM. W. De Laubenfels of Oregon State College submits an article to the Journal of Paleontology, proposing the idea that an asteroid collision with Earth caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. Citing the widespread damage caused by a comet or meteor’s explosion over the ground in 1908 in Tunguska, Siberia, Laubenfels postulates that an actual impact could have displaced enough material to block the sun, wiping out vegetation and smaller animals alike, choking off the dinosaurs’ food supply as well as dropping surface temperatures below survivable levels. At the time of publication, the possibility of an asteroidal collision with Earth is not thought to be a particularly major threat.

Zond 3

Zond 3The Soviet Union launches Zond 3, an unmanned spacecraft nearly identical to the failed Mars-bound space probe Zond 2, on a trajectory that will swing past the moon on its way to interplanetary space. It would make its closest flyby to the moon on July 20th, 1965, four years to the day prior to the first manned lunar landing, taking photos of the far side of the moon as it heads into deep space. Zond 3 proceeds on a trajectory toward the orbit of Mars, even though it will be too far away from the planet to study it.

Gemini 10

Gemini 10With the docking and EVA goals of the Gemini program still unmet, and with the first Apollo missions looming ahead in the mission schedule, Gemini 10 lifts off with a lot riding on it (in addition to astronauts John Young and Michael Collins). Over the course of nearly three days, the Gemini 10 crew makes up for lost time, successfully docking with an Agena booster and changing the vehicle’s orbital altitude to 188 miles – a new distance-from-Earth record for a manned spacecraft. Collins conducts two spacewalks, but the lack of handgrips on the exterior of the Gemini capsule frustrates his efforts. Gemini 10 returns after three days in space.

The crash

Video gamesAfter dismal second-quarter earnings reports lead to weeks of massive sell-offs of Warner Communications and Texas Instruments stock (among many other companies tied into the field of computer and video games), investment firm Prudential-Bache Securities – usually a staunch supporter of tech stocks – kicks the industry crash into high gear with a simple warning: do not buy. Stock prices for video game and computer companies tumble precipitously for the remainder of 1983, driving some of the industry’s longest-lived players out of the business (or out of business altogether). Even relatively stable stocks such as Apple and Coleco take a major hit; computer manufacturers and arcade-only game makers who have made it through the first half of 1983 unscathed find their stock valued at half of what it was worth just weeks before. In many respects this marks the end of the home-grown American video game industry: the next wave of successful products will arrive from Japan, and American software houses will rely on those machines to run their products.

Timecop: The Future, Jack, The Future

TimecopThe ninth and final episode of Mark Verheiden’s science fiction series Timecop is broadcast on ABC, starring Ted King and Don Stark, loosely based on the 1994 movie of the same name (also co-written by Verheiden). Keith Szarabajka and Bruce Campbell (Jack Of All Trades, Army Of Darkness) guest star. (The series has already been cancelled at this point; ABC is burning off the remaining episodes into off-season time slots.) This the series was initially given a thirteen-episode order by ABC, production was halted after this episode was filmed.

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New Doctor Who filming begins

CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTONE IS THE DOCTORFilming begins on the new series of Doctor Who on location in Cardiff, Wales. Christopher Eccleston, the ninth Doctor, has yet to film his first scenes, however – the first week’s scenes focus on Billie Piper as the Doctor’s companion Rose Tyler, as well as an enemy that will be familiar to fans of the classic series in the Jon Pertwee era.Eccleston is expected to report to the set during the second week of shooting. The new series will debut in 2005 on the BBC.

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Blue Origin NS-9

Blue Origin NS-9Commercial spaceflight operator Blue Origin, owned by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, launches its ninth New Shepard flight. The uncrewed (but human-rated) capsule includes several commercial and research payloads, but serves primarily as a test of the ascent escape engine system designed to pull a crewed New Shepard capsule clear of a booster in the event of an anomaly during launch. As with past missions, both the capsule and its single-stage suborbital booster come in for soft landings near Blue Origin’s Texas launch facility. This is the third flight for the third New Shepard reusable capsule, as well as the third flight for the third New Shepard reusable booster.