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Published On: January 24, 2016

The X-FilesThe 202nd episode of Chris Carter’s modern-day science fiction series The X-Files airs on Fox, starring David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, reviving the fabled series for its tenth season. Mitch Pileggi and William B. Davis guest star.

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Published On: January 24, 2013

Star WarsWord breaks across Hollywood that Disney has secured the services of J.J. Abrams, co-creator of Lost and director of the 2009 and 2013 movies set in a re-imagined Star Trek universe, to direct the much-anticipated Star Wars Episode VII, the first new movie in the series since Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm at the end of 2012. With a locked-in release date in 2015, Abrams is expected to start work on Episode VII as soon as post-production and promotion for Star Trek Into Darkness are complete for that movie’s May 2013 release.

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Published On: January 24, 2006

UPNWanna-be fifth networks UPN and the WB both announce that they will go off the air in late 2006, after 11 years of struggling to make a dent against the “big four” networks. (Both networks signed on in January 1995, the WB premiering its programming one week before UPN went on the air with the premiere of Star Trek: Voyager; WB later found its own genre niche with the series adaptation of Joss Whedon’s Buffy: The Vampire Slayer and its popular spinoff, Angel, along with the “young Superman” prequel Smallville.) However, some of their programming may survive to be seen on a new joint venture between Warner Bros. and UPN’s parent network, CBS. This new network, The CW, will have programming and personnel held over from both defunct networks. The announcements do not mention how the merger will work out in broadcast markets where affiliate stations exist for both networks.

Published On: January 24, 2004

OpportunityThe Opportunity rover, identical to Spirit, lands on schedule and on target in Mars’ Meridiani Planum region, but initial readings from the surface of Mars indicate that the landing pod containing Opportunity has come to rest on its side. Telemetry signals from Opportunity announce that the the rover has arrived safely and intact, ready to begin its mission, and the opening of the landing vehicle returns Opportunity to its intended upright position. As with Spirit, Opportunity will remain on its landing platform for several days undergoing a series of diagnostic tests before rolling off to the Martian surface for independent exploration, and engineers are keeping a close eye out for signs of a computer problem that has plagued Spirit for several days.

Published On: January 24, 1999

The X-FilesThe 127th episode of Chris Carter’s modern-day science fiction series The X-Files airs on Fox, starring Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny. Geoffrey Lewis guest stars.

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Published On: January 24, 1993

Soyuz TM-16Cosmonauts Gennadi Manakov and Alexander Poleshchuk lift off aboard Soyuz TM-16, on a course for Russian space station Mir. In preparation for the upcoming joint international missions that will see American space shuttles docking with Mir, Soyuz TM-16 carries a new type of docking mechanism designed to test the docking port that will be used by visiting shuttles. Manakov and Poleshchuk remain aboard Mir for 179 days, returning to Earth in July 1993 with French spationaut Jean-Pierre Haigneré.

Published On: January 24, 1986

Voyager 2 visits the third planet on its grand tour of the outer solar system, becoming the first and only man-made spacecraft to visit Uranus. Since the blue-green planet and its moon are tipped over, Voyager has fewer opportunities to gather images of the moons of Uranus, but a close pass by its innermost large satellite, Miranda, yields pictures of one of the stranger surfaces in the solar system: a moon that was ripped apart and melted back together in the distant past. The atmosphere of Uranus reveals almost no details to Voyager 2’s cameras in the scant visible light available this far from the sun, but ten new moons are discovered, and the planet’s elusive dark rings are captured in several images. With no other missions to Uranus in the pipeline, Voyager 2’s brief flyby remains the primary source of most of our knowledge of the seventh planet from the sun. It will now take Voyager 2 three years to reach Neptune, its final target.

Published On: January 24, 1985

DiscoverySpace Shuttle Discovery lifts off on the shortest shuttle flight since the 1981 test flights, lasting only three days. A classified Defense Department payload is delivered to orbit, with the help of the first Inertial Upper Stage booster developed by the U.S. Air Force. This mission is the first time that shuttles had to be swapped out prior to flight – thermal tile issues on Challenger prevented that shuttle from being used for this mission – as well as the first instance of a shuttle launch scrubbed because of concerns over freezing weather and ice at the launch site. Discovery returns via the Kennedy Space Center runway, with Commander Ken Mattingly, Pilot Loren Shriver, mission specialists Ellison Onizuka and James Buchli, and payload specialist Gary Payton aboard.

Published On: January 24, 1981

Doctor WhoThe 545th episode of Doctor Who airs on BBC1. This story brings the E-space trilogy to a close and is written by science fiction novelist Stephen Gallagher. Clifford Rose and Kenneth Cope guest star. This episode is the final appearance of Lalla Ward as Romana. K-9 also permanently leaves the series as of this episode, but due to the character’s popularity, steps are already being taken to create a spinoff for him.

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Published On: January 24, 1980

Hitchhiker's Guide To The GalaxyThe 11th episode of Douglas Adams’ breakthrough radio science fiction comedy series The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy is first broadcast on BBC Radio, continuing the second series of the now-hit cult science fiction phenomenon. At this point, the story has diverged into material that will not be repeated in later iterations of Hitchhiker’s Guide; Rula Lenska guest stars.

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Published On: January 24, 1975

Salyut 3One day before deorbiting the vacant space station for reentry into Earth’s atmosphere, Soviet military space officials fire the anti-aircraft cannon mounted on the exterior of space station Salyut 3 – the first test of spacecraft-to-spacecraft weapons in history (though there is no target on which to test the ammunition rounds). Without a steerable mount, in practice, the entire Salyut 3 station would need to have been pointed at the gun’s target. The station is destroyed by friction upon atmospheric reentry a day later.

Published On: January 24, 1967

The InvadersThe third episode of Larry Cohen’s science fiction series The Invaders, starring Roy Thinnes and produced by Quinn Martin’s QM Productions, premieres on ABC. Suzanne Pleshette (The Bob Newhart Show) guest stars.

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