Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s trade deficit widened in September, the third straight month of shortfall, as exports plunged 10.3 percent from a year earlier, weighed down by Europe’s debt crisis and a surge in antagonisms with China that have damaged close economic ties.
The deficit for September was 558.6 billion yen ($7.2 billion), the Finance Ministry said Monday, higher than the forecasts of many analysts and bigger than a deficit of about $3.7 billion a year earlier. The deficit in August was $9.6 billion.
September’s exports totaled 5.4 trillion yen ($68.7 billion). Imports rose 4 percent from a year earlier to 5.9 trillion yen ($75.9 billion), continuing to be inflated by additional imports of oil and other fuels for power generation as most nuclear reactors remain offline in the aftermath of last year’s Fukushima nuclear disaster.
The ministry figures show exports to all regions falling, apart from a meager 0.4 percent year-on-year gain in shipments to North America. Exports to crisis-stricken Europe plummeted 26 percent.
A territorial dispute with China that sparked anti-Japanese riots in September took a heavy toll, with exports to China sinking 14 percent from a year earlier to 953.4 billion yen ($12.2 billion). Imports from China climbed 3.8 percent to 1.28 trillion yen ($16.4 billion).
The rise in antagonisms over disputed islands in the East China Sea has been especially hard on the auto industry. Auto exports fell 15 percent in September from the year before
The strong Japanese yen has hurt the country’s export competitiveness, while demand has evaporated as growth slowed in most regions. Exports of consumer electronics, a mainstay, fell by double-digit figures from a year earlier.
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.