Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) — I’m not afraid of heights, or flying, or thrill rides. So I didn’t hesitate to take a parasail ride for an Associated Press story about the activity’s lack of safety regulations.
Equipped with a small video camera, I was buckled into a tandem harness along with Miami Beach Parasail crew member Gabriela Samut. With a parachute-like sail already aloft behind the boat, we sat on the aft deck in our harnesses and got clipped into a tow bar. Then the boat picked up speed and we were gradually lifted into the air by the wind.
At first I felt a slight stomach drop and couldn’t help but kick my legs in freedom. Soon, the noise of the boat’s engine died away and it was akin to riding in a hot-air balloon: there’s almost no sound but the wind. At 300 or so feet, we could see rock formations under the clear sea and scan the upper floors of South Beach’s famed Art Deco hotels.
Below us, the boat circled. We were connected only by that one thin rope.
Eventually the boat slowed and we gradually descended as the crew winched in the line. A highlight was the “toe dip,” where we were just above the water line and were able to stick our feet into the water. Up again we went, then gradually down until we landed gently back on the boat with both feet.
The ride was more exhilarating than scary. In all, the fun lasted about 10 minutes.
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.