Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
This is the sound of one shoe dropping:
“Ratcheting up the pressure on Tehran, the United States on Thursday designated Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps a proliferater of weapons of mass destruction and its elite Qods force a supporter of terrorism. In total, Washington slapped sanctions on more than 20 Iranian companies, major banks and individuals, as well as the Defense Ministry, in a bid to pressure Tehran to halt its nuclear program and curb its ‘terrorist’ activities.”
The other shoe, when it falls, will sound something like this:
“At least 26 U.S. troops are reported dead after an assault on their small base near the Iranian border this morning, said Gen. David Petraeus, commander of American forces in Iraq. While details are still sketchy at the moment, Gen. Petraeus said it was “almost certain” that the attackers were units of Iran’s elite Qods force, an arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
“President Bush is now consulting his national security team, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said. “When we have all the facts, then the president will decide upon the appropriate response. For now, our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of those killed in this horrible sneak attack.”
Administration officials have been warning of possible “revenge attacks” for months after President Bush formally designated the Qods force and the IRGC as terrorist organizations in October. Just last Thursday, Bush cited a “flood” of intelligence reports indicating “an aggressive build-up of Iranian firepower” along key points of the Iran-Iraq border. The president said the intelligence was copious, credible and disturbing: “Our guys tell me their hair is on fire, reading this stuff.”
In a speech at the American Enterprise Institute the next day, Vice President Dick Cheney delivered a stern warning to Tehran: “Armed retaliation would be an act of madness on the part of Iran’s tyrannical leaders. But we are dealing with an irrational enemy, so we must be prepared for anything. And let me assure you, and the mullahs: we are prepared.”
Denouncing what he called “a new Pearl Harbor,” Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., introduced a measure this morning that would grant formal Senate approval to “whatever action the Commander-in-Chief deems necessary to protect our troops, and our nation, from Iranian aggression.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., signaled his support for “something along those lines,” but said he would hold off bringing it to the Senate floor “until we see what the president has to tell us.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said that she too would act as soon as the president had made his decision, adding, “Today there are no Democrats or Republicans; there are only Americans united in our grief and our resolve.”
Look for it, get yourself ready — it’s coming.
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins
On December 28, 2013, Expedition 38 crew member Mike Hopkins participating in the second of two space walks to replace a degraded pump module on the International Space Station. (NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio is reflected in his helmet!)
The Soyuz TMA-10M
The Soyuz TMA-10M headed towards the International Space Station with crew members from Expedition 37 onboard.
40 years ago the Apollo 8 mission flew up to the moon, orbited it ten times and then returned to Earth. This picture was taken from that flight and shows the Earth as it seemingly rises in similar fashion to a sunrise.
Sunrise from Expedition 36
NASA Flight Engineer Karen L. Nyberg of Expedition 36 took this photo of the sun rising -- a sight they saw nearly 16 times per day due to the speed of the International Space Station's orbit around the earth.
A pair of NanoRacks CubeSats -- nanosattelite spacecrafts carrying experiments -- were launched by Expedition 38.
Glenn Greenwald is a prominent Salon blogger. Read him here.