Two members of Skylab‘s first three-man crew undertake a three-and-a-half-hour spacewalk to take on the most difficult and dangerous part of the repairs to the space station: freeing a jammed solar “wing” required to provide almost half of the station’s electrical power. With no handholds and only tethers keeping them anchored to the station, astronauts Pete Conrad and Joseph Kerwin have a hard time even reaching the solar panel, and are knocked loose when, after overexerting themselves trying to manually pull the panel free, it jerks open; with only their tethers keeping them attached to Skylab, it’s a potentially life-threatening situation for both. Conrad, the third man to walk on the moon, later admits that the Skylab repair spacewalk gave him much greater concern for his own survival.
The last of the original cycle of time-bending sequels, Battle For The Planet Of The Apes is released in theaters. Facing diminishing returns, and a desire on the part of 20th Century Fox to exploit the Apes franchise on the small screen, the series comes to a suitably post-apocalyptic end.
Having repaired and secured the damaged Skylab over the course of three spacewalks, the space station’s first three-man crew leaves the station and returns to Earth after 28 days in space, experiencing gravity after nearly a month of zero-G.
The first Skylab crew’s stay in space sets a new record, twice as long as the previous longest American manned spaceflight, Gemini 7 in 1965.
The 355th episode of Doctor Who airs on BBC1. This episode closes the series’ tenth season on the air, and is the last to feature Katy Manning as the Doctor’s companion, Jo Grant. The character doesn’t resurface until a 2010 episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures.