Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal programs on automatic pilot are consuming ever larger amounts of government resources as Congress struggles to resolve budget disagreements.
The trend helps older Americans, who receive the bulk of Social Security and Medicare benefits.
This generational shift alarms policy advocates who say the United States is reducing vital investments in the future. That includes spending on education and scientific research.
Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid keep growing, largely untouched by Washington’s budget battles.
Steady expansions of these nondiscretionary entitlement programs require no congressional action. So they flourish in times of political gridlock.
In 1962, 14 cents of every federal dollar not going to interest was spent on entitlement programs. The amount is 47 cents today. And it will reach 61 cents by 2030.
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.