Operation Overcast

V2 RocketAfter Germany’s surrender, ending the European hostilities in World War II, American military forces embark on a program to recruit captured German scientists, particularly those involved in the development of rockets and missiles, to perform further research and development in these areas for the United States, especially with the Pacific war between the United States and Japan still very much an active concern. The German scientists are also interrogated to find out if any of their technology has been shared with Japan. Numerous German rocket scientists, notably Wernher von Braun and Eberhard Rees, are identified as possible assets to the American war effort despite their past affiliations with Germany’s Nazi regime.

The Andromeda Breakthrough: Storm Centres

The Andromeda BreakthroughThe fourth episode of the British science fiction series The Andromeda Breakthrough, created and written by John Elliot and astronomer Fred Hoyle as a follow-up to 1961’s A For Andromeda, is broadcast on the BBC, starring Peter Halliday, Susan Hampshire, John Hollis (The Empire Strikes Back), and Mary Morris. Unlike A For Andromeda, this series exists in the BBC archives in its entirety.

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Star Trek: the second pilot

Star TrekFilming begins on a nearly-unprecedented second pilot episode of Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek at the request of NBC, which saw promise (but not enough action) in The Cage. When Jeffrey Hunter declines to return to the role of Captain Christopher Pike, the character is renamed (Captain James R. Kirk) and recast (in the person of well-regarded Canadian actor William Shatner). The first edit of the new episode, Where No Man Has Gone Before, features a completely different musical theme (again by Alexander Courage) and other oddities, such as Quinn-Martin-Productions-style “Act” and “Tonight’s Episode” banners at the top of each act of the show, as well as evidence that the names of the characters played by George Takei and James Doohan had yet to be decided.

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Project UFO Sighting 4014: The Wild Blue Yonder Incident

Project UFOThe 26th episode of Harold Jack Bloom’s sci-fi series Project UFO airs on NBC, portraying fictionalized investigations into what the show claims are actual cases from the U.S. Air Force’s Project Blue Book investigations. Edward Winter and Caskey Swaim star. This is the final episode of the series to air, with ratings falling over the course of the second season. Project UFO is the last television series to be produced by Jack Webb’s Mark VII Productions prior to Webb’s death in 1982.

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Enterprise re-retired

Space ShuttleHaving already been donated to the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum in 1985, Space Shuttle Enterprise, a test vehicle not built to spaceflight specs, is removed from the custom-made hangar at the Smithsonian and prepared for re-gifting. With NASA donating the space-flown shuttle Discovery to the Smithsonian, Enterprise will now become a major display at New York City’s Intrepid Museum, based on the retired aircraft carrier U.S.S. Intrepid. For the first time in nearly 20 years, Enterprise is loaded onto one of the modified Boeing 747s from which it made its in-atmosphere test flights in 1977 and is transported to New York.

Emirates Mars Mission sends Hope to Mars

Hope launchThe United Arab Emirates launch their first uncrewed interplanetary mission, the Emirates Mars Mission, from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center atop a Japanese H-IIA rocket. Expected to arrive at Mars in February 2021, the Hope orbiter will study Martian weather from orbit, not only serving as a true weather satellite for the red planet, but also gathering data on the factors leading to Martian atmosphere loss. The project, initiated in 2014, is intended not only to study Mars, but to attempt to gather a base of talent that could eventually build an Arab space industry.