Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
WASHINGTON (AP) — Christmas has come to the White House.
Michelle Obama, daughters Malia and Sasha and the family’s two dogs on Friday accepted an 18-and-a-half-foot Douglas fir as the official White House Christmas tree.
It was presented by Christopher Botek, a second-generation Christmas tree farmer from Crystal Spring Tree Farm in Lehighton, Pa.
The tree was hauled up the driveway by horse-drawn wagon and taken to the Blue Room, where it will stand as the main attraction of the White House Christmas decorations.
Mrs. Obama, holding the leash for dog Sunny, and her daughters walked around the wagon to inspect the fir.
“It looks good. It looks beautiful,” she said, turning to ask Malia: “What do you think?”
“Love it. We’ll keep it,” replied Malia, who held the leash for Bo, the family’s other dog.
“We will keep it,” Mrs. Obama said.
An army of volunteer decorators and White House staffers will participate in a weekend marathon of tree trimming, wreath hanging and other decorating to transform the building in time for a preview of the holiday decorations that’s set for next week.
As in past years, many of the decorations will honor military families, who are getting a first look at the decorations on Wednesday.
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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.