The 275-pound, 18-foot filming “miniature” of the starship Enterprise from Star Trek arrives at the Smithsonian, but it’s just as well that its planned display in the National Air & Space Museum won’t open until 1976: having suffered years of mishandling and barely-adequate storage at Paramount, with a final round of damage occurring during shipping, television’s most famous spaceship arrives in need of extensive repairs. Both of the round caps of the Enterprise’s warp engines are missing, and the intricate lighting setup built into the engines has been destroyed as a result, and the “radar dish” at the bottom of the model is missing as well. The Enterprise model will undergo extensive restoration and repainting for three months at the Smithsonian’s Maryland facility.
After using the gravity of the larger planet Venus to fling it further toward the sun, NASA’s unmanned space probe Mariner 10 zips by the innermost planet, Mercury, less than 500 miles away from its cratered surface. Its cameras capture the first-ever views of the barren planet, whose surface temperatures vary between frigid on the night side and oven-baked on the hemisphere facing the sun. Mariner 10 passes behind the sun, catching up with Mercury again half a year later.