Megapixels: On Top of the World

An astronaut's view of the Pacific Ocean

Scenic lookouts like this one are the privilege of an elite few, including astronaut Mike Mullane, who was on board the shuttle Discovery in September 1984 when a crewmate snapped this photo 184 miles above Earth. The orbiter's tailfin points to the Pacific Ocean. "Since the autopilot was holding the shuttle with its top to the Earth, I now had the planet in my face," writes Mullane in his memoir, Riding Rockets: The Outrageous Tales of a Space Shuttle Astronaut, due out this month. "In all my other life experiences speed meant noise. Now I was traveling at nearly 5 miles per second and there was only silence. It was as if I were hovering in a balloon."

by NASA 41-D Mission Crew

NASA 41-D Mission Crew

by NASA 41-D Mission Crew

Scenic lookouts like this one are the privilege of an elite few, including astronaut Mike Mullane, who was on board the shuttle Discovery in September 1984 when a crewmate snapped this photo 184 miles above Earth. The orbiter's tailfin points to the Pacific Ocean. "Since the autopilot was holding the shuttle with its top to the Earth, I now had the planet in my face," writes Mullane in his memoir, Riding Rockets: The Outrageous Tales of a Space Shuttle Astronaut, due out this month. "In all my other life experiences speed meant noise. Now I was traveling at nearly 5 miles per second and there was only silence. It was as if I were hovering in a balloon."NASA 41-D Mission Crew

by Chris Jordan

Last year Americans retired 130 million cellphones, many of which will wind up in landfills, where their toxic lead, mercury and cadmium components will leach into the ground. Around 1 percent of them went to recycling centers like this one, Collective Good in Atlanta, Georgia. Fortunately, that's about to change, at least in California, where the nation´s first cellphone-recycling legislation takes effect in July. The bill mandates that retailers institute a system to collect and recycle the cellphones that they sell. Want to recycle your old phone but don´t live in the Golden State? Log on to collectivegood.com.Chris Jordan

by Chris Jordan

Chris Jordan