Viking 2 launched

MarsNASA launches the Viking 2 lander and orbiter, designed and operated by Jet Propulsion Laboratory, aboard a Titan IIIE rocket bound for Mars. The combined Viking 2 spacecraft will take nearly a year to reach Mars, achieving orbit in August 1976 and surveying the surface for suitable landing sites before the northern plain named Utopia Planitia is selected for a September 1976 landing attempt.

“The Dirty Dozen in space”

Blake's 7In a meeting with BBC Head of Series & Serials Ronnie Marsh, Dalek and Survivors creator Terry Nation – who has already found himself at odds with the producer of Survivors – pitches a new series idea. Described as “The Dirty Dozen in space,” Nation’s series idea envisions a slightly disharmonious group of rebels taking up arms against a totalitarian, almost Orwellian future government. The concept, which Nation names Blake’s 7 at the meeting, will take a few years to make it to the screen.

More about Blake’s 7 in the LogBook

Themisto

ThemistoAstronomers catch fleeting glimpses of a new natural satellite of Jupiter, Themisto, though the initial estimates of its orbit are “off” enough that Themisto becomes “lost” and isn’t observed again until 2000. With a diameter of roughly five miles, Themisto marks the dividing line between the larger inner moons of Jupiter and the widely-scattered menagerie of asteroid-like outer moons orbiting the planet. Astronomers Elizabeth Roemer and Charles Kowal (who discovered another new Jovian moon in 1974) share credit for discovering the moon. Themisto is the last Jovian satellite to be discovered by ground-based telescope in the 20th century.