Gemini 5

Gemini 5Gemini 5 lifts off on the first manned spaceflight to last over a week, breaking the previous record held by the Soviet crew of Vostok 5; the eight-day flight is crucial in proving that humans could function for the minimum amount of time that a flight to the moon and back again would take. Instead of short-lived batteries, Gemini 5 is the first American spacecraft powered by fuel cells, another important step toward longer flights to the moon. The crew consists of Gordon Cooper and Pete Conrad.

Orbiting Astronomical Observatory 3: Copernicus

OAO-1NASA launches the third and final Orbiting Astronomical Observatory satellite, given the nickname “Copernicus” when it successfully enters service near the 500th anniversary of the birth of the famed astronomer of the same name. OAO-3 is a joint venture between NASA and universities in the U.S. and the U.K., again focusing largely on ultraviolet observation of the sky, and it is instrumental in the discovery and study of long-period pulsars. OAO-3 will remain in service through February 1981, its successful nine-year mission lending weight to the ongoing construction and planning of NASA’s Space Telescope project, later to be known as the Hubble Space Telescope.

Doctor Who in the USA

Doctor WhoThe British science fiction series Doctor Who is broadcast in the United States for the first time on WPHL, an independent commercial TV station in Philadelphia. WPHL is among the first American stations to have purchased a syndication package of Doctor Who episodes, starrring Jon Pertwee as the third Doctor, from BBC Enterprises by way of Time-Life Television. The package includes the series’ first two color seasons, plus the first story from the 1972 season (the relatively recent Day Of The Daleks). The success of Star Trek reruns in syndication may well have indie stations convinced that Doctor Who is the next big thing…

Witchblade: Transcendence

WitchbladeThe 11th episode of Witchblade airs on cable channel TNT, based on the Top Cow comic book of the same name, starring Yancy Butler and David Chokachi. Keir Dullea (2001: a space odyssey) and John Hensley (Nip/Tuck) guest star. This episode brings the first season to a close, though star Yancy Butler’s alcohol and substance abuse issues will land her in rehab for a lengthy period, delaying a second season for nearly a year.

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