September 30 in Science and Science Fiction

Hans Geiger

German physicist Hans Geiger (September 30, 1882 – September 24, 1945), is best known as the co-inventor of the Geiger counter.


Alfred Bester (photo)

Hugo winning science fiction author and SFWA Grand Master Alfred Bester (December 18, 1913 — September 30, 1987) wrote the classic novels The Demolished Man and The Stars My Destination. Wrote Harry Harrison, “Alfred Bester was one of the handful of writers who invented modern science fiction.” In his early years, he wrote for comics including Superman and Green Lantern; substituted for Lee Falk on The Phantom and Mandrake the Magician when Falk served in World War II; scripted radio shows including Nick Carter, Master Detective, The Shadow, Charlie Chan, and Nero Wolfe; and for many years was a senior editor of Holiday magazine. At Ron Miller’s suggestion, he was the keynote speaker for the 1978 International Planetarium Society convention, hosted by the National Air and Space Museum, where I had the honor and pleasure of introducing him.

Boeing 747 Revealed

On September 30, 1968, the Boeing 747 was rolled out of its hanger at Boeing Everett Field for its first public showing.


Moon Experiments Shut Down

Five of the six Apollo missions to reach the lunar surface left behind a set of scientific instruments: the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package, or ALSEP. (The first, Apollo 11, left behind a predecesor, the Early Apollo Scientific Experiments Package, or EASEP.) By 1977, a combination of power loss and NASA budget cuts led to the discontinuation of the experiments, and on September 30, 1977, they were shut down remotely from Earth.