Saturday, September 22, 2018

"Charlie's Angels" premieres 1976

The first episode of the first regular season of Charlie's Angels aired September 22, 1976.  The pilot film aired earlier, in March, and received high ratings so it became a regular series.  The original cast featured Farrah Fawcett-Majors, Jaclyn Smith, Kate Jackson and David Boyle. 

The series enjoyed high ratings.  After Farrah Fawcett left the series after the first season, which resulted in lawsuits for breach of contract.  She agreed to come back for guest appearances.  Cheryl Ladd was brought in as Fawcett's character's sister.  Ratings dipped but recovered.

Then Kate Jackson left the series and they brought in Shelly Hack, but she lasted only one season.  Tanya Roberts was cast for the fifth season, but ratings never recovered after Jackson's departure and the series was cancelled.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Happy birthday, Icelandic astronaut Bjarni Tryggvason!

Bjarni Tryggvason, born September 21, 1945 in Reykjavik, Iceland, is an astronaut with the Canadian Space Agency and went into space on the Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-85) as payload specialist in August 1997.  Although born in Iceland, he grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia.

During the mission, his primary role was performing fluid dynamics experiments to examine sensitivity to spacecraft vibrations using the Microgravity Vibration Isolation Mount (MIM).  The experiments were to study the effects of vibrations on the experiments performed on the International Space Station.

JAXA's MINERVA II 1 has released its rovers to Ryugu

Asteroid Ryugu from MINERVA II 1

Just a few hours ago, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) confirmed that the MINERVA II 1( Micro-Nano Experimental Robot Vehicle for the Asteroid) has released its two rovers, ROVER-1A and ROVER-1B to explore the Near-Earth Object/Asteroid Ryugu. 

Contact has been lost with MINERVA but JAXA figures it is due  to the rotation of the asteroid.  Hopefully, they will re-establish contact soon.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Billy Joel receives Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame 2004

My man Billy Joel got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, September 20, 2004!  He joked about writing the song Say Goodbye to Hollywood, and now he'll never leave.  He is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and lived in Santa Monica early in his career.

Surveyor 2 launched 1966

Surveyor 2, the second unmanned lunar lander in NASA's Surveyor program, was launched September 20, 1966. It was designed to achieve a soft landing on the moon and send back pictures, but a mid-course correction failure resulted in the probe crashing onto the lunar surface at about 6000 miles per hour on September 23.  That is probably why there aren't any videos of its launch.

Of the seven Surveyor probes, five were successful in landing on the moon.

Star Trek episode "Spock's Brain" airs 1968

Widely regarded by cast, crew and fans as the worst episode of the original Star Trek series, Spock's Brain, aired September 20, 1968.  The Enterprise encounters a strange spacecraft and then a mysterious woman appears on the bridge.  She manages to subdue the entire crew using a device on her arm.  When they come to, Dr. McCoy discovers Spock lying on a bio-bed without his brain.

If you've seen this episode, you know why it's one of the worst. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Happy birthday, Space Shuttle astronaut Richard Linnehan!

Richard Linnehan, born September 19, 1957 in Lowell, Massachusetts, is a veteran of four space shuttle missions.  After receiving a BS in Animal Sciences and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, he completed an internship in exotic animal medicine at the Baltimore Zoo! 

Selected as an astronaut by NASA in 1992, his first flight was aboard Columbia (STS-78) as mission specialist June-July 1996.  It was a preparation flight for the International Space Station.

Linnehan's second flight was aboard Columbia (STS-90) as mission specialist April-May 1998.  The Mammalian Development Team, which I'm sure Linnehan was a part of, experienced an unexpectedly high mortality rate of neonatal rats.  Therefore, they had to reprioritize their experiments.

His third flight was aboard Columbia (STS-109) as mission specialist in March 2002.  It was a servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope and the last flight of Columbia before it disintegrated the following February upon re-entry.

Linnehan's fourth and final flight was aboard Endeavour (STS-123) as mission specialist in March 2008 to the International Space Station.  He performed three EVAs, totaling 21 hours.