The Soviet Union detonates its first nuclear weapon, internally code named RDS-1, near a specially-built “dummy” village which includes various structures, aircraft and other military hardware, and livestock, all present to test the effects of an atomic weapon detonation in their vicinity. Western intelligence is caught off guard when the radioactive fallout is picked up by detection equipment on weather reconnaissance flights between Japan and Alaska, as the Soviets were not expected to have their own nuclear weapons until sometime in the 1950s. This is a turning point in the Cold War, initiating the race toward the next evolution of nuclear weapons: the hydrogen, or thermonuclear, bomb.
The 45th episode of ABC’s science fiction anthology series, Tales Of Tomorrow, airs on ABC. Much of the second season is missing, including this episode.
This series is not yet chronicled in the LogBook. You could help change that.
Mushroom Records releases the third Split Enz album, Dizrythmia, the first of the group’s recorded output to feature frontman Tim Finn’s younger brother Neil as the new guitarist. This is also the first album to feature new recruits Nigel Griggs on bass and drummer Mal Green, both of whom will remain through the band at the peak of its success in the early 1980s.
The Soviet Union launches the Soyuz TM-6 mission to the Mir space station, with cosmonauts Vladimir Lyakhov, Valeri Polyakov and Abdul Ahad Mohmand aboard. Lyakhov and Mohmand remain aboard Mir for only a week, participating in experiments involving both crews, but Polyakov, a medical doctor, remains on Mir to monitor the Expedition 3 crew in the final months of their unprecedented one-year stay in orbit. This crew exchanges spacecraft with the station crew, returning home in the Soyuz TM-5 vehicle after a week on Mir, but their return is plagued by problems both technical and otherwise.
Soundtrack specialty label Intrada releases a 2-CD limited edition set of soundtrack music from the 1980s anthology series Amazing Stories, featuring music by Jerry Goldsmith, David Newman, Craig Safan, Bruce Broughton, and other composers. This is the second volume of three collections of music from Amazing Stories.
Astronomers using the Keck Observatory’s Hawaii-based telescopes and near-infrared cameras capture an image of a devastating volcanic eruption on Io, one of Jupiter’s largest moons (and known since 1979 to be very volcanically active). The eruption, unleashing enough molten material to reshape hundreds of square miles of Io’s surface, also reveals that the material erupted is hotter than any eruption in Earth’s recorded history. This is the most violent eruption seen to date in the solar system, and caps off two weeks of intense activity observed by the astronomers.
Actor and writer Gene Wilder, whose uncanny comic timing made him the star of numerous Mel Brooks comedies as well as the unnerving lead in 1971’s movie adaptation Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory, dies at the age of 83 from complications related to Alzheimer’s Disease. He was a regular part of Brooks’ all-star ensemble, starring in such movies as The Producers, Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, and co-starred in numerous comedies with Saddles co-star Richard Pryor, including Stir Crazy, Bustin’ Loose, Silver Streak, and See No Evil, Hear No Evil.