Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
Following fast on the footsteps of the French, Germany on Thursday summoned the U.S. ambassador after allegations emerged — reportedly based on leaks from NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden — that the U.S. spy agency had surveilled the phone calls of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The U.S. government has thus far (as with most NSA revelations) offered unsatisfactory assurances to Germany. The White House promised that the chancellor’s calls are not currently being monitored and will not be again, but did not comment on whether she had been spied on by the U.S. in the past.
“We can’t simply return to business as usual,” Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere told ARD television about U.S.-German relations following the spying revelations. Via the AP:
Merkel’s government says she complained to President Barack Obama on Wednesday after receiving information her cellphone may have been monitored…
The Foreign Ministry said U.S. Ambassador John B. Emerson is expected to meet Thursday afternoon with Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, who will “spell out the position of the German government.”
… Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere told ARD television the alleged surveillance would be “really bad” if confirmed. “The Americans are and remain our best friends, but this is absolutely not right,” he said.
“I have reckoned for years with my cellphone being monitored, but I wasn’t reckoning with the Americans.”
Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email firstname.lastname@example.org.More Natasha Lennard.
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.