The 402nd episode of Doctor Who airs on BBC1. This opens the show’s 13th season and shifts Doctor Who into the autumn months, where it remains for the rest of the 1970s. This is also the last UNIT story until the late 1980s.
The 526th episode of Doctor Who airs on BBC1. This is the first story produced by John Nathan-Turner, who remains as showrunner through the series’ cancellation in 1989, and features a redesigned title sequence and – for the first time in the series’ history – a major revision to the theme tune. Adrienne Corri and Nigel Lambert guest star. Season 18 begins with this episode.
Taking off on a six-day satellite deployment mission, Space Shuttle Challenger also lifts the first African-American astronaut into orbit. A satellite deployment is carried out for India, along with continuing experiments to observe the performance of the shuttle in conditions of extreme cold with limited exposure to the sun. Aboard Challenger for this flight are Commander Richard Truly, Pilot Daniel Brandenstein, and mission specialists Dale Gardner, Guion Bluford, and William Thornton.
Space Shuttle Discovery makes its first flight into space on a mission to deploy three commercial communications satellites. Tested on this flight is a huge solar power panel which unfolds vertically from Discovery’s cargo bay, testing technology for space station designs still on the drawing board. Discovery’s crew for this flight consists of Commander Henry Hartsfield, Pilot Michael Coats, mission specialists Judy Resnick, Steven Hawley, Mike Mullane, and payload specialist Charles Walker.