Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — Two members of a Virginia-based Navy dive unit face military criminal charges of involuntary manslaughter and dereliction of duty in the February drowning deaths of two divers at an Army facility in northeastern Maryland, a Navy spokeswoman said Wednesday.
The unidentified defendants are “senior leaders” in Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2, which Diver 1st Class James Reyher, 28, of Caldwell, Ohio, and Diver 2nd Class Ryan Harris, 23, of Gladstone, Mo., belonged to, said Lt. Cdr. Charity Hardison of the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command in Virginia Beach, Va.
The sailors drowned Feb. 26 during routine diving operations at the Super Pond underwater weapons-testing facility at Aberdeen Proving Ground, an Army installation about 20 miles northeast of Baltimore.
Their deaths followed the Jan. 30 death of civilian technician George Lazzaro at the same pond. Lazzaro was doing underwater maintenance of the facility. His cause of his death hasn’t been released.
Hardison said the Navy will hold an Article 32 investigation, the military equivalent of a preliminary hearing or grand jury investigation, on May 21 at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia to determine whether the charges will be referred to a court-martial, dealt with administratively or dismissed.
“The command is saying, ‘We think there’s enough evidence for these charges,’” Hardison said. “An investigating officer will look at the information and decide whether the charges are substantiated.”
Hardison said the command won’t disclose the defendants’ names until the May 21 hearings. She said neither defendant is the unit’s commanding officer, executive officer or command master chief, the most senior enlisted sailor in a Navy unit. Hardison said “senior leader” could refer to an enlisted sailor.
The Navy diver deaths were investigated by Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 2 and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. A spokesman for the explosive ordnance unit referred calls to Hardison. An NCIS spokesman didn’t immediately reply to an email from The Associated Press for information about the investigation.
The death of Lazzaro, 41, of Nottingham, is being investigated by the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division, the Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center at Fort Rucker, Ala., and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The Army units didn’t immediately respond to AP queries. An OSHA spokeswoman said that agency’s investigation isn’t complete.
The test facility, dubbed the “Super Pond,” is used to conduct shock testing of vessels, submarine systems and munitions. With a bottom measuring 300 feet in diameter and a maximum depth of 150 feet, the facility also has been used in testing torpedoes, missiles, warheads, amphibious and remotely controlled vehicles, underwater gun firing and acoustics.
The sailors belonged to a unit whose salvage operations have included TWA Flight 800, Swiss Air Flight 111, the space shuttles Challenger and Columbia, and the Civil War ironclad USS Monitor.
The unit also provided damage assessments and repairs on the USS Cole and participated in humanitarian missions following Hurricane Katrina and the 2010 earthquake that struck Haiti.
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.