Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A bankrupt New Zealand coal company was ordered Friday to pay the families of 29 miners killed in a 2010 methane explosion, though they may receive just a fraction of the compensation.
A judge ruled the miners’ families and two survivors of the explosion should get 110,000 New Zealand dollars ($86,000) individually, an amount in doubt because Pike River Coal went into bankruptcy soon after the explosion.
The company was convicted in April of nine health and safety violations. A government investigation found it had ignored 21 warnings that methane gas had accumulated to explosive levels in the South Island mine.
Judge Jane Farish slammed the company’s actions in her ruling. In addition to ordering compensation, she also fined the company NZ$760,000.
Government lawyers had asked for compensation of between NZ$60,000 and NZ$125,000 for each of the miners.
Opposition Green Party lawmaker Kevin Hague said the government should make up any shortfall. “It is a travesty of justice that the Pike River families could end up with as little as $5,000 in compensation when they are legally entitled to much more,” Hague said in a statement.
Prime Minister John Key’s office issued a statement Friday saying it was too early to speculate on any government payments given that some aspects of the case are still before the courts.
Former chief executive Peter Whittall faces 12 charges in a case yet to be heard.
The victims’ bodies are still entombed in the Pike River mine because the methane gas buildup that caused the explosion has made a recovery operation too risky.
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.