Out Of The Unknown: The Prophet

Out Of The UnknownBBC2 airs the 25th episode of science fiction anthology series Out Of The Unknown. Adapted by Robert Muller from a story by Isaac Asimov, the story stars David Healy as Powell and Brian Davies as Donovan. This episode no longer exists in the BBC’s archives, and marks the end of Irene Shubik’s tenure as producer, as well as the last episode of the series to be made in black & white. The robot costumes from this story will be reused in the later Doctor Who story The Mind Robber.

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It’s About Time: 20th Century, Here We Come

It's About TimeThe 19th episode of the time travel sitcom It’s About Time, created by Sherwood Schwarz (I Dream Of Jeannie) and starring Frank Aletter, Jack Mullaney, and Imogene Coca, is broadcast on CBS. With the series’ ratings having slowly dropped, a major rethink of the premise is implemented in this episode, which returns not only the astronauts but also their cave-dwelling neighbors into the modern day for the remainder of the series run.

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Apollo 1

Crew of Apollo 1During a ground test of the Apollo 1 spacecraft, a fire breaks out in the 100% oxygen atmosphere of the Apollo capsule, leaving the crew – Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee – unable to operate or open the hatch. The searing heat burns through their oxygen hoses, suffocating the three astronauts in short order. Months of investigations and accusations follow, leading to changes of management at both NASA and North American Aviation, the aerospace company contracted to build the Apollo command/service module. Extensive redesign of the Apollo vehicle follows, including a switch to a nitrogen/oxygen atmosphere and a complete rethink of the hatch, and manned flights won’t resume until late 1968.

This event is dramatized in the Apollo One episode of HBO’s 1998 series From The Earth To The Moon.

Lunar Orbiter 3 launched

Lunar OrbiterThe third of five Lunar Orbiter satellites is launched to the moon by NASA, and once in orbit, Lunar Orbiter 3 achieves an unmanned spaceflight first: it’s the first unmanned space probe to image another unmanned space probe (in this case, Surveyor 1, which has been on the moon since 1966). A mechanical fault prevents Lunar Orbiter 3 from returning roughly a quarter of its images to Earth.