Gemini 6

Gemini 6Delayed from its original launch date in October, Gemini 6 had been intended to be the first American space docking mission. An unmanned Agena rocket, launched ahead of Gemini 6 to serve as its docking target, had exploded during liftoff, and the October Gemini 6 mission had been scrubbed as a result. Instead, the crew of Gemini 6 – Wally Schirra and Thomas Stafford – are launched on a one-day mission to become the rendezvous target for the already-launched Gemini 7. The two manned vehicles close to within mere feet of each other – a first for human spaceflight.


JanusFrench astronomer Audouin Dollfus discovers Janus, the tenth discovered natural satellite of the planet Saturn, orbiting just beyond the outer edge of Saturn’s ring. Confusion is caused when, mere days later, an American astronomer discovers another body in a near-identical orbit that cannot be reconciled with the orbit calculated for Janus. Only in the late 1970s will a theory emerge that explains the inconsistencies as the presence of two moons moving around Saturn as a co-orbital pair, occasionally swapping positions. Janus’ existence will be verified in 1980 by Voyager 1. (Janus is shown here in a 21st century Cassini photo.)


ESSAThe recently-rechristened Environmental Sciences Service Administration launches, with the help of NASA, ESSA-8, the latest in a constellation of weather satellites operated by the former U.S. Weather Bureau. ESSA-8 is the first satellite in the ESSA constellation to boast a significant operational life span, watching Earth’s cloud patterns until it is shut down in 1976.

Vega 1 launched

Vega 1The unmanned Vega 1 space probe is launched by the Soviet Union on a dual mission to drop off a lander at Venus and then to intercept Halley’s Comet in 1986. Derived from the USSR’s earlier Venera Venus landers, Vega will test a refined landing system for landing on Venus by balloon, and will then join an international fleet of unmanned spacecraft attempting to take advantage of Halley’s visit to the inner solar system in late 1985 and early 1986.

Super Force: Gravity’s Rainbow – Part 1

Super ForceThe tenth episode of the science fiction crime drama Super Force is broadcast in syndication in North America, starring Ken Olandt, Larry B. Scott, and Patrick Macnee (The Avengers). G. Gordon Liddy (of Watergate fame, or perhaps infamy) guest stars.

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Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Amends

Buffy The Vampire SlayerThe 44th episode of Joss Whedon’s trend-setting supernatural series Buffy The Vampire Slayer, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, airs on the WB network. Anthony Stewart Head, David Boreanaz, and Alyson Hannigan also star. Eliza Dushku (Dollhouse) guest stars.

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Soyuz TMA-20

Soyuz TMA-20Part of the 26th full-time crew of the International Space Station lifts off from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome aboard Soyuz TMA-20. Dmitri Kondratyev, Catherine Coleman and Paolo Nespoli take up residence on the ISS for 159 days, becoming part of the Expedition 26/27 crews. All three return to Earth in May 2011 aboard the same vehicle.

The Expanse: The Big Empty

The ExpanseThe second episode of the science fiction series The Expanse, based on the series of novels by James S.A. Corey (a pseudonym for writers Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham), is broadcast on cable channel Syfy. François Chau (Lost) guest stars.

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Chuck Peddle, microcomputer pioneer, dies

Chuck PeddleThe chief designer of the 6502 microprocessor (a device credited with breaking Intel’s near-monopoly on the market and kick-starting the personal computer revolution), Chuck Peddle dies at the age of 82. Having already gained experience as part of the team that developed Motorola’s 6800 chip, Peddle realized that there was a need for a cheaper alternative. (At over $300 upon its introduction in 1973, the 6800 was still prohibitively expensive.) Motorola showed no interested in developing an inexpensive alternative, so Peddle defected to rival chip maker MOS, where he brought the 6502 chip to market. Within a few years of its introduction, the 6502 was already the heart of the Apple II, the earliest Atari home computers, the Commodore VIC-20, and the BBC Micro. Variants of the 6500 processor family powered the Commodore 64, the Atari VCS, and the Nintendo Entertainment System, among countless others. He was often credited as the father of the personal computer.

More about Home Computers in Phosphor Dot Fossils

Hawkeye: Ronin

LokiStreaming service Disney Plus releases the fifth episode of Hawkeye, created for TV by Jonathan Igla and starring Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld. Vincent D’Onofrio reprises the role of Kingpin for the first time since Marvel’s Daredevil series completed its run on Netflix in 2018.

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