Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
The question on everyone’s mind after news broke of the rapes of 200 Congolese villagers over the course of a weekend was why it took peacekeepers two weeks to find out — especially considering the military base some 20 miles away. The available answers, it turns out, are not so satisfying.
The United Nations was aware the villages were being occupied by Rwandan rebels at the time of the attack. The New York Times reports that an e-mail was sent from the Department of Safety and Security “to United Nations staff members on July 30, the day the rapes began” and “warned them to stay away from the area … because it had been taken over by rebels.” A top official explained that there was no indication of the extreme level of brutality that was taking place.
Regardless, an anonymous U.N. source told the Times that the alert should have caused peacekeepers to intervene. Another unnamed U.N. official told the Times that there has been “a lot of miscommunication” and that “there seems to be a disagreement between the military and civilian sides” of the peacekeeping mission. Imagine trying to explain that to the victims: Sorry, you know how it is dealing with bureaucracies.
One U.N. official went on the record with the Associated Press to propose a different theory: Maybe it’s a cultural issue. “There is, of course, a significant amount of cultural baggage … associated with rapes in this area, as well as elsewhere,” said special representative Roger Meece. “Is it conceivable that the local villagers were afraid of reprisals if they reported anything to MONUSCO? Possible. Is it conceivable that they were ashamed of what has happened in some form? That’s possible.” Now they are toying with the idea of having villages make daily reports to the nearest U.N. base. Sounds like the typical bureaucratic solution to a problem: more bureaucracy.
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.