Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
Ulysses S. Grant’s life was punctuated by highs and lows. Before the Civil War catapulted him to global fame, Grant had left the army to eke out a living as a store clerk. As the Union’s top general, he saved the nation and leveraged this success to win the White House. As a two-term president, Grant was largely a failure; he trusted friends who would betray him and the public, making corrupt bargains behind his back. In “Grant’s Final Victory,” biographer Charles Bracelen Flood examines the once-mighty general’s tumultuous last year, 1884-85, which he sees as a microcosm of Grant’s entire life.
The former president thought he’d become rich as a partner in an investment firm founded by his friend Ferdinand Ward, who exploited Grant’s name to attract investors. As Flood explains, “Ulysses S. Grant remained naïve about matters of money.” In an echo of his presidency (and today’s Madoff scandal), Grant’s trust was misplaced. Ward, it turned out, was operating a pyramid scheme, absconding with Grant’s (and his fellow investors’) money. The retired military man was psychologically devastated and financially bankrupted, admitting, “I don’t know how I can ever trust any other human being again.”
Flood follows the trail of bad news from humiliation to death sentence. Newly ruined, the cigar-loving Grant was then diagnosed with tongue and throat cancer. Here we see firsthand his never-give-up resilience, a lifelong trait. Desperate to regain a financial foothold for his family, Grant negotiated a book contract with author/publisher Mark Twain to pen his “Personal Memoirs.” Flood shows us how Grant, staring down penury and cancer, finished writing his book through “amazing effort … he had written an average of seven hundred and fifty words every painful day,” delivering a manuscript to Twain just four days before his death. Even in the face of foes like betrayal and mortal illness, Grant’s fighting spirit endured.
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.