Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
If you’ve wondered why movies look more and more like video games, here’s part of the answer: “Call of Duty: Black Ops II,” the ninth in the popular video game franchise, racked up sales of $1 billion in its first 15 days of release, according to the research firm Chart-Track and estimates by Activision Publishing, the game’s developer.
“Black Ops II” took a day less to reach the $1 billion mark than last year’s entry, “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.” By contrast, the fastest movie to $1 billion box office was “Avatar,” which took a poky 17 days. According to the Telegraph it’s the fourth consecutive year that Activision has claimed the biggest global entertainment product launch for a “Call of Duty” game.
Now chew on this: In the last 15 days “more than 150 million hours have been logged online playing ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops II.‘” That translates to 1.25 million people playing eight hours a day, making this video game the equivalent of the second largest corporate employer in the U.S. after Wal-Mart. While Salon has often criticized Wal-Mart, it’s worth noting here that Wal-Mart employees at least get days off and some compensation for their time.
Alex Halperin is news editor at Salon. You can follow him on Twitter @alexhalperin.More Alex Halperin.
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.