Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has arrived in Afghanistan on an unannounced visit to consult with top commanders and President Hamid Karzai.
The visit Wednesday comes at a difficult juncture in the Western coalition’s efforts to shift more security responsibilities to Afghan forces so the combat mission can end in 2014.
While security has generally improved lately, the Afghan government’s ability to effectively govern and to root out corruption is in great doubt. Peace talks with the Taliban are on a back burner.
Panetta said earlier Wednesday in Kuwait, where he gave a pep talk to U.S. troops, that President Barack Obama will decide within a few weeks how many U.S. troops to keep in Afghanistan beyond 2014.
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.