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A toilet tube on SpaceX"s Crew Dragon spaceship broke and sprayed pee under the floor during its first tourist flight

SpaceX's passengers were safe from their own urine, since it never entered the cabin. But astronauts discovered the same issue on another Crew Dragon. The Crew Dragon Endeavour approaches the International Space Station with astronauts on board, April 24, 2021. NASA SpaceX's Crew Dragon spaceship experienced a toilet issue while flying its first tourists in orbit. A tube came loose and released urine beneath the spaceship floor, but pee didn't get into the cabin. Astronauts discovered the same leak on another Crew Dragon docked to the International Space Station. SpaceX's first tourist flight seemed to go swimmingly last month, but there was a hidden problem beneath the floorboards.That issue came from the bathroom - the toilet tucked away in the Crew Dragon spaceship's ceiling, which is shrouded in proprietary secrecy. A tube carrying urine from that toilet broke loose in an area beneath the spaceship's cabin floor, releasing its contents onto a fan. That fan is used to create suction for the toilet, which is necessary because when you're doing in microgravity, there's no force pulling waste in any one direction. The fan then sprayed the pee all over the hidden compartment.Even though all of this happened in microgravity, the pee didn't drift into the cabin. That kept it away from the spaceship's four passengers: billionaire Jared Isaacman, geoscientist Dr. Sian Proctor, physician-assistant Hayley Arceneaux, and engineer Chris Sembroski. While they orbited Earth for three days, on a mission called Inspiration4, they didn't notice the issue, SpaceX representatives told reporters on Monday. The Inspiration4 crew poses in front of the Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spaceship that will launch them into space. Inspiration4/John Kraus "We didn't really even notice it, the crew didn't even notice it, until we got back," SpaceX official Bill Gerstenmaier said in a press conference Monday, according to The New York Times. "When we got the vehicle back, we looked under the floor and saw the fact that there was contamination underneath the floor of Inspiration4."A mechanical issue with the toilet fan had, however, set off an alarm while Inspiration4 was in orbit, prompting the passengers to troubleshoot, Isaacman told CNN Business in September. He did not reveal how they solved the problem. Upon the spaceship's return to Earth, SpaceX technicians opened the cabin floor to investigate the fan issue. That's when they discovered the pee leak.As SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has promised on Twitter, the toilet system is getting an upgrade. SpaceX is redesigning the leaky tube beneath Crew Dragon's floor for its next launch, which will carry four NASA astronauts to the International Space Station this weekend. With the new upgrade, the tube shouldn't come "unglued" again, Gerstenmaier said.Pee is also loose in another SpaceX spaceshipAnother Crew Dragon capsule is currently attached to the space station, since it carried four astronauts to the space station in April and is waiting to carry them back to Earth in the coming weeks. But it has the same plumbing system as the capsule that suffered a leak. The Crew-2 astronauts during a training session in Hawthorne, California. Left to right: Thomas Pesquet, Megan McArthur, Shane Kimbrough, and Akihiko Hoshide. SpaceX Fearing the same toilet troubles, SpaceX asked the astronauts on the space station to snake a camera on a cable into the pee-tube compartment beneath the floor. Sure enough, they discovered the same issue as Inspiration4."Yes, there was some indication of some contamination under the floor," Gerstenmaier said.That could be a more serious issue for this spaceship, which has been in Earth's orbit for nearly six months, and has presumably been carrying loose urine the whole time.After astronauts pee, that urine gets mixed with a substance called Oxone, which removes ammonia so that it doesn't build up in the air. But Oxone can be corrosive, so SpaceX is investigating the possibility that the Oxone-pee mixture could have damaged the spaceship after months of floating around beneath its cabin floor. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk Britta Pedersen / POOL / AFP via Getty Images SpaceX engineers tested this theory on the ground, Gerstenmaier said, according to the Times, by gathering some aluminum parts similar to those on the spaceship and soaking them in an oxone-urine mixture. The engineers put those parts in a chamber that imitates the humidity conditions of the space station. They left them there for "an extended period of time," Gerstenmaier said, though he did not specify for how long.So far, SpaceX has not found significant corrosion in those samples."Luckily, or, on purpose, we chose an aluminum alloy that is very insensitive to corrosion," Gerstenmaier said.He also noted that there is less urine inside the Crew Dragon capsule that's attached to the ISS, since those astronauts were only on the spaceship for about 24 hours before they docked to the space station.SpaceX's on-the-ground testing is still ongoing."We'll double check things, we'll triple checks things, and we got a couple more samples we'll pull out of the chambers and inspect," Gerstenmaier said, according to CNN. "But we'll be ready to go and make sure the crew is safe to return."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 27th, 2021

SpaceX and NASA delayed 4 astronauts returning from ISS, but the rescheduled flight is 12 hours quicker - meaning less time wearing diapers designed to cope with a leaky toilet

The SpaceX astronauts on the Crew-2 mission have to wear "undergarments" because of a toilet leak on the Crew Dragon craft. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. Hannibal Hanschke-Pool/Getty Images NASA and SpaceX delayed the return of four astronauts from the ISS from Sunday to Monday. The rescheduled flight is much shorter than the initial, planned trip - eight hours instead of 20. This means less time wearing "undergarments" the astronauts have to rely on because of a toilet leak. SpaceX and NASA have delayed a flight returning astronauts from the International Space Station (ISS) because of high winds in the Gulf of Mexico near to where the capsule is supposed to splash down, NASA said in a blog post on Sunday.The Crew-2 mission is now scheduled for Monday afternoon just after 2 p.m. EST, after initially being scheduled for Sunday. The rescheduled flight is expected to be 12 hours quicker than the original was, NASA said: The four-person crew will take just eight hours to return to Earth, rather than the 20 hours planned for Sunday's flight, per SpaceX and NASA's websites.The journey time from the ISS back to Earth onboard a Crew Dragon capsule can vary. SpaceX's first crewed flight, called Demo-2, took just over 19 hours to return in August 2020, per Space, while the Crew-1 mission back to Earth in May lasted nearly seven hours.The rescheduling means the astronauts will spend less time in special diapers they have to wear because of a toilet leak in the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule.The four astronauts on the Crew-2 mission, who are coming back to Earth after seven months, will have to rely on "undergarments" for toilet breaks, Steve Stich, NASA's commercial crew program manager, previously said in a press briefing, per CNN.This is because the Crew-2 astronauts discovered a toilet leak in the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, which has been docked at the ISS since it flew the crew there in April, Insider's Morgan Mcfall-Johnsen reported in October.The toilet on the spacecraft will be out of order for the return trip, Stich said in the press briefing, leaving astronauts to resort to "other means," according to a Space report. "It's a short mission coming home," he added, per Space.SpaceX's first all-civilian mission, Inspiration4, first found an issue with the Crew Dragon spacecraft's toilet during a three-day trip in space in September. A toilet tube carrying urine into a storage tank came loose beneath the spaceship's floor and leaked onto a fan that generates suction to direct the waste in the right direction. The fan then sprayed urine underneath the spaceship's floor, but urine didn't get into the cabin.SpaceX asked Crew-2 astronauts, who have been at the ISS since spring, to check for the same issue. The astronauts confirmed contamination in the space capsule, SpaceX official Bill Gerstenmaier said in a press conference in October, per The New York Times.This isn't the first time SpaceX and NASA have had to postpone crewed missions recently.The upcoming Crew-3 mission to the ISS has been pushed back three times because of bad weather and a "minor medical issue." The launch was planned for October 31st, but is now slated to blast off on Wednesday, per SpaceX's website.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 8th, 2021

SpaceX"s leaky Crew Dragon toilet means 4 astronauts returning to Earth will have to rely on "undergarments" instead, a NASA official said

The toilet on SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft has a leak problem. Crew-2 astronauts will have to rely on "undergarments" instead, NASA said. SpaceX founder and chief engineer Elon Musk. Joe Skipper/Reuters The toilet on a SpaceX spacecraft is out of order for astronauts returning to Earth in November, NASA said. The Crew-2 astronauts will have to rely on "undergarments" for toilet breaks instead, an official said. The Crew Dragon spacecraft, also used for the Inspiration4 mission, also suffered a leaky toilet. The toilet on SpaceX's Crew Dragon spaceship will be out of order for four astronauts flying back to Earth in November, a NASA official said Friday, per reports.NASA astronauts on the Crew-2 mission returning from the International Space Station (ISS) will have to rely on "undergarments" instead, Steve Stich, the agency's commercial crew program manager, said Friday, according to CNN.The astronauts on the Crew-2 mission found a leak in the toilet of the Crew Dragon capsule, which is currently docked at the ISS after flying them there in April, Insider's Morgan Mcfall-Johnsen previously reported. A toilet leak was also discovered on the Crew Dragon capsule during SpaceX's Inspiration4 mission.The exact date for the Crew-2 mission's to return to Earth has not yet been announced, but is expected to be in the weeks after the Crew-3 mission arrives at the ISS.Stich said that it's usual for astronauts to wear undergarments, adding that they're usually used as a backup in spaceflight. "Our intent is to not use the system at all for the return leg home because of what we've seen with the fluids we are talking about," Stich said, according to a Space report."We have other means to allow the crew to perform the functions they need," he added, per Space. "It's a short mission coming home."The journey time from the ISS back to Earth onboard a Crew Dragon capsule can vary. SpaceX's first crewed flight, called Demo-2, took just over 19 hours to return in August 2020, per Space, while the Crew-1 mission back to Earth in May lasted nearly seven hours.SpaceX's first all-civilian crew, Inspiration4, first discovered a problem with the Crew Dragon capsule toilet during their three-day mission in space. A tube carrying urine from the toilet into a storage tank became loose underneath the spaceship's floor and leaked the mess onto a fan, which generates suction to make sure human waste goes in the right direction. The fan then sprayed urine over the spaceship's floor.The Inspiration4 space tourists ended up having to fix the fan, crew member Jared Isaacman said in an interview with CNN.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 2nd, 2021

Watch SpaceX launch its next astronaut crew for NASA on Wednesday, after a week of delays

NASA had to delay the flight due to an astronaut medical issue - not an emergency and not related to COVID-19. Now the astronauts are ready to fly. The Crew-3 astronauts, left to right: ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer and NASA astronauts Thomas Marshburn, Raja Chari, and Kayla Barron. SpaceX SpaceX plans to launch its fourth NASA astronaut crew to the International Space Station on Wednesday night. The Crew-3 mission has been delayed twice due to bad weather and a minor medical issue. Watch live below as the Crew Dragon spaceship flies to the ISS. SpaceX plans to send a rocket streaking above the Florida skies on Wednesday night. Onboard its Crew Dragon spaceship will be the fourth astronaut crew the company will have launched for NASA.SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk, now regularly shuttles NASA astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS) for six-month shifts. The crews the company has flown so far have also included astronauts from the space agencies of Europe and Japan.The upcoming mission, called Crew-3, includes NASA astronauts Tom Marshburn, Raja Chari, and Kayla Barron, as well as European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Matthias Maurer. SpaceX's Crew-2 mission lifts off aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from NASA's Kennedy Space Center, April 23, 2021. NASA/Aubrey Gemignani "It's hard to express adequately how excited we are as a crew. We're definitely feeling ready to launch," Barron, who will be flying to space for the first time, said in a press conference in early October.The crew was originally supposed to lift off in the dark hours before dawn on Halloween, but NASA and SpaceX delayed the launch due to high winds and waves forecast along the spaceship's flight path over the Atlantic Ocean. NASA requires calm weather at several emergency splashdown locations in the ocean.Then the flight was delayed further due to a "minor medical issue" involving one of the astronauts. NASA has not disclosed details about the medical issue or which astronaut was affected, though the agency noted that the issue was not an emergency and not COVID-19-related.Now, the mission is finally set to launch at 9:03 p.m. ET on Wednesday, reaching the ISS on Thursday evening. The Crew Dragon Endeavour approaches the International Space Station with the Crew-2 astronauts on board, April 24, 2021. NASA Watch SpaceX fly to the space station liveNASA plans to broadcast the entire Crew-3 journey to the ISS live online, starting with the Falcon 9 rocket launch and ending after the Crew Dragon capsule docks to its ISS port. The journey will take about 24 hours.The livestream will appear on NASA TV, embedded below, beginning at 4:45 p.m. ET on Wednesday.This Crew Dragon capsule, which the Crew-3 astronauts have named "Endurance," will be the first to fly with SpaceX's latest toilet upgrade. Last month, the company discovered that urine from the capsule's toilet had leaked in two of its Crew Dragons - one that flew tourists around Earth for three days, and one that was docked to the ISS until it brought its crew back to Earth last weekend.In both cases, a toilet tube came loose then leaked pee all over a compartment beneath the cabin floor. The urine didn't enter the cabin, so the people inside didn't notice the issue. SpaceX representatives say the company has upgraded that tube to prevent future leaks.If everything goes according to plan - as it did for SpaceX's three prior ISS flights - the rocket will first roar towards space, giving Endurance the push it needs to insert itself into Earth's orbit.The astronauts will have time to eat, sleep, enjoy their new views, and prepare for arrival as the spaceship lines up with the ISS.Thursday evening, as the space station comes into view, Endurance will fire its thrusters to slowly push itself towards a docking port, latching onto the station at 7:10 p.m. ET. The spaceship is fully automated, so nobody needs to manually drive if it operates as expected. NASA astronaut and SpaceX Crew-3 Commander Raja Chari, in his spacesuit during a training session at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, August 30, 2021. SpaceX Astronauts on the Crew Dragon and the ISS will then conduct a nearly two-hour sealing and leak-checking process before opening the hatch that connects the station to the spaceship. Then Crew-3 will float into the space station, at about 8:45 p.m. ET. The three people currently on the ISS will likely crowd around to greet them - a reunion that's often full of broad smiles and upside-down hugs.The ISS crew is sparse right now because SpaceX's last mission, Crew-2, returned to Earth on Monday. Those astronauts climbed back aboard their Crew Dragon capsule, plummeted through the atmosphere, and parachuted to an ocean landing. They were originally supposed to overlap with Crew-3 for a few days, but because of the Crew-3 delays they ended up returning before the new astronauts could launch. The Crew Dragon Endeavour parachutes into the Gulf of Mexico NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley onboard, August 2, 2020. NASA/Bill Ingalls Crew-3 will make a similar return trip in about six months. That means Marshburn, Chari, Barron, and Maurer will be on the ISS for an array of historic spaceflight events to come.Over the next six months, NASA is set to launch the James Webb Space Telescope, which is expected to revolutionize astronomy; SpaceX plans to fly tourists to the ISS for the first time; and NASA aims to launch the first moon mission of its Artemis program.In the meantime, China is continuing to construct its own space station. The first module is already orbiting Earth, with astronauts on board."We have a lot of exciting things planned, from spacewalks to science experiments to visitors, with the private astronaut missions and spaceflight participants. So it's kind of a dream mission for a rookie flyer to be joining such an experienced crew aboard the space station," Barron said.This story has been updated with new information. It was originally published October 28, 2021.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 9th, 2021

Elon Musk said SpaceX"s first-ever civilian crew had "challenges" with the toilet and promised an upgrade for the next flight

SpaceX CEO Musk did not elaborate on what toilet "challenges" the crew of the Inspiration4 mission faced or how exactly the toilet would be upgraded. Elon Musk, SpaceX's CEO. Steve Nesius/Reuters Elon Musk said the next SpaceX civilian mission would have a better toilet. SpaceX successfully completed its first all-civilian mission, Inspiration4, last week. Musk said on Twitter that there had been "challenges" with the toilet, without elaborating. See more stories on Insider's business page. Elon Musk said on Twitter that SpaceX plans to upgrade the amenities for its next space-tourist flight, including the toilet.The Inspiration4 crew, made up of four non-astronauts, took off on Wednesday aboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft. They landed back on Earth on Saturday evening.Elon Musk tweeted on Monday that he met the crew in person in Florida, and then he answered questions from Twitter users about the company's plans for the next mission.Responding to one user, Musk said the next flight would have "upgraded toilets." He added, "We had some challenges with it this flight."-Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 21, 2021The billionaire did not elaborate on what these challenges were, or how exactly the toilets would be upgraded.Jared Isaacman, one of the passengers on Inspiration4, told Insider in July the toilet for Crew Dragon was located on the ceiling of the spacecraft and featured a glass dome, meaning crewmembers had a 360-degree view while using the bathroom."It's not a ton of privacy. But you do have this kind of privacy curtain that cuts across the top of the spacecraft, so you can kind of separate yourself from everyone else," Isaacman said.Isaacman added that learning to use the toilet on the spacecraft was part of the civilian astronauts' rigorous pre-flight training. An illustration of SpaceX's Crew Dragon spaceship with a glass dome, or cupola, at its nose - containing the toilet. SpaceX Musk also said the next flight would have a small oven for heating food, and WiFi provided by Starlink, SpaceX's satellite internet project.-Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 21, 2021The crew for the Inspiration4 mission took cold pizza on their three-day flight. While in space they chatted with Musk and actor Tom Cruise.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 21st, 2021

Elon Musk said SpaceX"s first-ever civilian crew had "challenges" with the toilet, and promised an upgrade for the next flight

SpaceX CEO Musk did not elaborate on what toilet "challenges" the crew of the Inspiration4 mission faced, or how exactly the toilet would be upgraded. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. REUTERS/Steve Nesius Elon Musk said the next SpaceX civilian mission would have a better toilet. SpaceX successfully completed its first all-civilian mission, Inspiration4, last week. Musk said on Twitter there had been "challenges" with the toilet, without elaborating. See more stories on Insider's business page. Elon Musk said on Twitter that SpaceX plans to upgrade the amenities for its next space-tourist flight, including the toilet.The Inspiration4 crew, made up of four non-astronauts, took off on Wednesday aboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft. They landed back on Earth on Saturday evening.Elon Musk tweeted on Monday saying he'd met the crew in person in Florida, and then answered questions from Twitter users about the company's plans for the next mission.Responding to one user, Musk said the next flight would have "upgraded toilets," adding, "we had some challenges with it this flight."-Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 21, 2021The billionaire did not elaborate on what these challenges were, or how exactly the toilets would be upgraded.Jared Isaacman, one of the passengers on Inspiration4, told Insider in July the toilet for Crew Dragon was located on the ceiling of the spacecraft and featured a glass dome, meaning crewmembers had a 360-degree view while using the bathroom."It's not a ton of privacy. But you do have this kind of privacy curtain that cuts across the top of the spacecraft, so you can kind of separate yourself from everyone else," Isaacman said.Isaacman added that learning to use the toilet on the spacecraft was part of the civilian astronauts' rigorous pre-flight training. An illustration of SpaceX's Crew Dragon spaceship with a glass dome or "cupola" at its nose - containing the toilet. SpaceX Musk also said the next flight would have a small oven for heating food, and WiFi provided by Starlink, SpaceX's satellite internet project.-Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 21, 2021The crew for the Inspiration4 mission took cold pizza on their three-day flight. While in space they chatted with Musk and actor Tom Cruise.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytSep 21st, 2021

The 15 essentials you should pack while traveling during a pandemic this holiday season

Stay safe this holiday season with these travel essentials that help you minimize exposure to COVID-19 and stay safe and healthy while on the road. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Hispanolistic/Getty Images Holiday travel is safer in 2021 than in 2020 but you should still take precautions to minimize the spread of COVID-19. The best precautions for traveling are getting vaccinated and wearing a mask in public spaces. Additional items like at-home COVID tests and portable hand sanitizer can also help you travel safer. Medical review by: David Aronoff, MD, director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Table of Contents: Masthead StickyWith rising vaccination rates in the U.S. and around the world, travel is reopening further. Americans are cleared to travel within the U.S. and, if fully-vaccinated, many places abroad, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).However, traveling isn't the same as pre-pandemic or even the same as mid-pandemic: Whether or not you're vaccinated, you need to take precautions when flying or driving. Everyone must wear a mask over their nose and mouth on planes, buses, trains, taxis, and other forms of public transportation.Most countries have other specific rules to visit, including proof of vaccination and certification that you've had a recent negative COVID test. Many experts also recommend taking a COVID test before and after you travel regardless of if it's required.While it's relatively safe to travel, that's only true if you take proper precautions. We've talked to three experts about everything you need to know to travel safely in the fall and winter of 2021, whether you're flying or driving, vaccinated or not.Here are the new essentials everyone should pack before traveling:Vaccine passport: CommonPassN95 mask: Kimberly-Clark N95 RespiratorKN95 mask: Powecom KN95 masks, 10 packDisposable mask: DemeTech DemeMask Surgical MaskFabric face masks: Herschel Classic Fitted Face MaskFace masks with removable filter: Halo Life Nanofilter MaskFace masks for kids: Onzie Mindful Masks (2-Pack)At-home COVID test: EmpowerDX At-Home COVID-19 PCR TestPortable hand sanitizer: Touchland Power Mist Sanitizer SprayTravel-sized disinfectant wipes: Clorox Disinfectant Wipes To GoA smartphone sanitizer: PhoneSoap 3 Smartphone UV SanitizerPacking cubes: eBags Hyperlite Packing CubesTape to help your face mask fit better: Cabeau TapeA mask bracket for added comfort: HeartFormSF Mask BracketReusable bags for safety gear: Stasher Reusable Silicone BagWhat to consider before you goEmilija Manevska/Getty ImagesVaccination against the SARS-CoV-2 virus is the most important and effective way we can reduce the spread and severity of COVID-19, David Aronoff, MD, director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told Insider during his medical review of this piece."While masks, reduced crowding, and social distancing are among the many things we can do to reduce the spread of COVID-19, vaccination has been shown to protect against getting infected, reduce the risk of symptoms or severe disease, and prevent death," he said.Be sure that anyone in your traveling party (or meeting you at your destination) is vaccinated if they are eligible, and that they've received their booster vaccine doses, which is now available for most people who've already been immunized.Additionally, all travelers should ask themselves before they go: Can I afford to be trapped somewhere if I or one of my travel companions gets COVID and can't travel home? "If the answer is no, stay home," Dr. Aronoff added.If you are traveling, Dr. Aronoff encourages checking your health insurance carefully to find out where and how to seek medical attention if you need it and exactly what your policy covers. Some countries require proof of travel health insurance that covers COVID to enter their borders. Dr. Aronoff also suggested having a plan for where you'd go to get care if you got sick and how you'd quarantine from the people you're visiting.What should be in your travel safety kitImages By Tang Ming Tung/Getty ImagesWhether you're vaccinated or not, driving or flying, remember the basics of COVID travel: Wear the best mask you can (ideally an N95-type mask), making sure it fits snuggly without gaps at the sides (layering two masks can help), and keep your distance from people outside your household as much as possible.Then, pack a portable COVID-19 safety kit, whether flying or driving.Proof of vaccinationAgain, getting the COVID vaccine is the best thing you can do to stay safe and keep other safe while traveling during the pandemic. Many countries require proof of vaccination before entering their borders, and even if you're traveling domestically, it's a good idea to have proof with you just in case a public space or business upon arrival requires it.If you want to travel with your physical vaccine card, we suggest putting it in a protective vinyl casing. But there are also a handful of apps, such as CommonPass and VeriFLY, that allow you to upload proof of vaccine and even connect PCR test results so you have proof of your low-risk all in one place.Card Protector Vinyl Sleeve (small)App (small)App (small)Masks for adultsMasks are required on all airlines, regardless of your vaccination status or where you're flying. They're also recommended for any public place while driving, like public restrooms or service stations.As coronavirus is an airborne virus, wearing a mask is still one of the key ways to reduce spreading or getting COVID, especially in an indoor, crowded place like an airport or airplane, Joyce Sanchez, MD, medical director of the Travel Health Clinic at Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin tells Insider.Wearing the right mask the right way helps to protect not only the people around you but the wearer too.Nearly everyone can safely wear a mask, other than those who can't put on or take off a mask themselves. This includes those with chronic lung and heart problems, Dr. Sanchez says. "Even if it feels harder to breathe while wearing a mask, it doesn't actually affect how much oxygen your body gets," she assures.Why are masks so important? Think of the COVID virus like cigarette smoke spreading indoors — it flows throughout the space (beyond 6 feet from the person who exhaled it and around plexiglass barriers) and can hang in the air for hours, even after the person is no longer in the room.Considering its spreadability, and given how contagious the Delta variant is, it's more important than ever to wear a well-fitting mask to both prevent spreading the virus to others and inhaling it yourself.Quick tip: If your mask tends to suction to your mouth when you breathe in, look for a mask with a more structured frame that keeps the fabric away from your lips (like a KN95 mask). Or, insert a frame, like one from HeartFormSF, into a covering you already have.N95-type masks are best now that they're no longer in short supply like early in the pandemic, followed by KN95 masks (both technically called respirators rather than masks). Both seal the sides of the face and top of the nose to minimize any gaps where air can leak, and offer additional filtration of air as you breathe, Dr. Sanchez explains.However, counterfeits are common, so check the CDC's list of approved masks and suppliers. A quick way to tell is that real N95s have straps around the back of the head instead of ear loops and a TC number (e.g., 84A-XXX for U.S.-approved N95s).After N95s and KN95s, a three-layer cloth mask is your next best option. The outside two layers should be a tightly-woven fabric like cotton or linen and the middle a filter fabric, either built-in or added-in by you (a folded paper towel works great).It's important that your mask fits snugly to trap the potentially-infected air particles rather than leaking through the edges of the mask and being directly inhaled, Abe Malkin, MD, MBA, the founder and medical director of Concierge MD LA, tells Insider. Make sure there are no gaps around the edges of your mask — a detail of equal importance regardless of if you're vaccinated or not.Quick tip: If a mask causes your glasses or sunglasses to fog up, that's a sign it doesn't fit properly and is allowing potentially virus-laden air in and out. Use a special tape like Cabeau Tape between the fabric and your skin where there's a gap to create a better seal.If your mask has gaps on the top or sides or if you only have a single-ply mask, it's smart to double up with a disposable surgical-type mask underneath and a tighter cloth mask over top. And if your mask slips down under your nose as you talk, it's a sure sign you need a better-fitting mask.Quick tip: Pack multiple masks. When you travel, you should have enough coverings to wear a fresh mask each day, as well as extras on hand if it gets dirty or wet.It's also important to wash reusable masks daily — a clean-looking mask can be covered with germs, which can spread to your hands and everything you touch every time you take it off or put it on. Wash it as you do your hands, with a minimum 20-second scrub with soapy water and a thorough rinse, then hang it to dry.Skip the neck gaiters and bandanas — early reports that they're worse than no mask at all were likely overblown, but researchers do know real masks are more effective. Plus, many airlines don't allow them anyway.N95 Respirator (small)KN95 Masks (10 Pack) (small)DemeMask Surgical Mask, 50 pack (small)Classic Fitted Face Mask (small)Nanofilter Mask (small)Mask Bracket (5-Count) (small)Tape (small)Masks for kidsA well-fitting mask is the most important factor for anyone, so children should use masks made for kids, Dr. Malkin says, adding "adult masks are too big for them."If kids can help choose their own supplies, it increases the chance they'll use them. Dr. Malkin advises opting for a mask with a character or designs your child likes to increase the chance that they'll keep it on when you're not looking.Mindful Masks (2-Pack) (small)Mickey Mouse masks, 4-pack (small)Smurfs Original Blue Cloth Face Mask (small)Masks are generally required on planes for kids 5 and older, though sometimes it's 2 or older (check your airline's requirements before you go). And Dr. Aranoff advises all kids over 2 years old should wear one in indoor, public places unless they physically can't. The CDC does not recommend masks for children under 2.Kids need multiple masks just like adults, so stash a few extras in their backpacks and in the car, Jagdish Khubchandani, PhD, a professor of public health at New Mexico State University tells Insider.Quick tip: It's super important to model safe practices, Dr. Sanchez says. "If you're wearing a mask, disinfecting your hands, maintaining that distance, and reinforcing those behaviors through what you say and do — children pick up on and mirror that."At-home COVID-19 testMost countries require you to have proof of a negative COVID test to enter. Taking one is a good idea even if you're traveling domestically, especially if you're unvaccinated, the CDC advises.Even if your destination doesn't require it and even if you're vaccinated, it's wise to get a COVID test both before you travel and after you arrive to minimize the chance of spreading the virus to vulnerable people. "If you are planning on visiting others, make sure to get tested to ensure everyone's safety," Dr. Malkin adds.For international or domestic travel, the CDC recommends that people who aren't vaccinated take a COVID test one to three days before you leave, keep your distance from others as much as possible while traveling, and once you return home, take another viral test and self-isolate for a full seven days. If you don't get a viral test, you should isolate for 10 days. Either way, avoid being around high-risk folks for 14 days.As for where to get a COVID test, many towns have free testing sites. But you can also snag an at-home rapid antigen test or, slightly less common, more accurate molecular tests (such as a PCR test). Just remember, the tests aren't 100% foolproof.Many at-home tests require you to mail in a nasal swab or spit tube to be processed in a lab. But newer tests (both antigen and molecular) available in some countries let you get your results online in as little as 45 minutes, with some antigen tests delivering results right in front of you, within 15 minutes. (Just be sore to follow the instructions closely and the tests can give a false negative.)Most tests that are supervised by a health professional over video provide you with the certification you need for flights. Just make sure you know the precise time window to do your test and get the certification back before your flight.When our team researched and tested the leading at-home COVID tests on the market throughout 2021, we found EmpowerDX Nasal to be the most accurate, covered by most insurance or the cheapest test available out of pocket and turns results around within two days of the lab receiving the sample. Dr. Sanchez also recommends the Abbott at-home antigen test kit, which offers six tests for $150.Dr. Sanchez recommends each person bring at least two approved at-home test kits that meet the testing requirements when traveling internationally in case there's a problem with one or you need to re-test. "You do not want to be stuck or delayed in returning home because you have not prepared for that required step," she adds.At-Home Covid-19 Nasal PCR Test (small)BinaxNOW COVID-19 At-Home Test Kit - 6 Pack (small)Hand soap, sanitizer, and wipesTraveling exposes you to tons of germs — viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and fungi — outside of COVID that can cause illnesses. It's super important to clean your hands before and after you eat, in particular. The best way: Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and then dry them thoroughly with a paper or cloth towel (rather than an air blower).But since that's not always possible, the second-best option is to use hand sanitizer. Always pack one with at least 60% alcohol in your carry-on, and rub it all over your hands, even the nooks and crannies, until it evaporates.Antibacterial hand wipes are less ideal since they sometimes contain harmful chemicals and may contribute to antibiotic resistance. But in a pinch, they're definitely better than having unclean hands. Keep in mind that most wipes are formulated for objects and not for skin, Dr. Malkin points out. As with hand sanitizer, the formula needs to be at least 60% alcohol to kill viruses.Power Mist Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer (small)Antibacterial Aloe Wipes (small)Disinfectant wipesKeeping high-touch surfaces clean is important, but don't obsess over disinfecting every surface you come into contact with, Dr. Sanchez told us — you're not at all likely to acquire COVID by touching an infected surface. This is especially true when driving; there's no need to wipe down your car handles or steering wheel, for example.That being said, high-touch surfaces on planes — armrests, tray tables, in-flight entertainment screens — can transmit germs, so it's wise to wipe down surfaces around your seat with a disinfectant wipe.Be sure to clean your phone too — you might be surprised by how dirty it actually is. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for how to clean it and try to use it only with clean hands. (But be careful: Some cleaners can ruin your screen.)Disinfectant Wipes On the Go (small)HomeSoap UV Sanitizer (small)Storage bagsWhen flying, carry-on storage is essential to make it easy to access hand sanitizer and other essential items. Ideally, your carry-on bag has multiple pockets so you can keep things like food and extra masks separate from dirty items. You can also use a small pouch to keep these essentials right on top (we like these durable, zippered pouches from Baboon to the Moon).We also recommend having a few plastic bags available to store dirty masks, in addition to things like used disinfectant wipes or tissues until you can find a trash can. You'll want one for your car and in your carry-on.It's also helpful to have a designated clean storage bag where you can put your mask when you take it off to eat away from dirty surfaces or other people's breath, Dr. Sanchez advises. Avoid placing your mask on a table or your arm to minimize germ contamination.Reusable Silicone Sandwich Bag (small)Dopp Kit (small)What you should leave at homeGlovesYou don't need to bring gloves with you traveling. First of all, COVID-19 is transmitted by breathing, not by touching things and then touching your face. Regardless, germs can live on the surface of a latex glove, the same as skin, Dr. Malkin says. Plus, "some people become too relaxed when they are wearing gloves. They do not realize they are at more risk for spreading [germs] because they are touching multiple personal items in between other things," he adds.Studies have suggested that people who wear gloves tend not to wash their hands as often or notice when gloves get dirty or damaged. It's also easy to contaminate your hands when removing gloves. Plus, we don't need any more COVID-19 waste than we already have.Face shieldsHow important are face shields? "As we do not have data to support the use of face shields in protecting individuals from acquiring COVID-19 in the community setting, they should not be used as a substitute for a well-fitting mask," Dr. Sanchez says.She added that while she saw no downside to adding a face shield to your travel safety kit, "they are not an equivalent substitute for face masks." They might provide protection if someone sneezes in your direction, for example, but they don't protect others from any virus you may be carrying.Is it safer to fly or drive?RuslanDashinsky/Getty ImagesIf you do need to travel, driving is generally safer than flying commercially, Dr. Sanchez says. If you drive, you have control over who shares the car with you, where you stop along the way, and when you return.If you're fully vaccinated and wearing a well-fitting mask, it's generally safe to fly from a COVID-19 transmission standpoint, she adds.Just keep in mind that you're most likely to transmit or catch the coronavirus when in close proximity to an infected person, especially in situations where people aren't wearing masks at all or wearing them properly. That means airport lines are an issue (sitting on the plane much less so, as we'll explain below), as is driving with anyone not already in your household bubble. Eating indoors — since people have no choice but to remove their masks — is high risk.Regardless of your mode of transportation, it's important to be diligent with precautions.Your driving safety planRealPeopleGroup/Getty ImagesRemember that COVID is spread by people breathing and talking, not by touching surfaces. If you're driving, you don't need to wipe down your steering wheel. But it can bring peace of mind to clean your hands before getting in; have hand sanitizer at the ready before and after you eat, and for after you use a gas pump and public restroom, for example.Power Mist Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer (small)Choose restaurants where staff are diligent about wearing masks. Keep your mask on unless you're actively eating or drinking, and try to eat outdoors or in your car.Use public restrooms for bathroom breaks. Pulling over for a roadside bathroom break is actually illegal throughout the U.S. Just wear a mask and try to wait outside in a well-ventilated space for a free stall. If the toilet has a lid, close it to flush. (There's evidence that the coronavirus can spread by flushing.)Dr. Sanchez adds that you should assume public restrooms are not properly disinfected and that surfaces could be covered in many kinds of germs aside from COVID. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and then use a paper towel to dry your hands and turn off the tap and open the door. If you do touch anything on your way out, use your 60%-plus alcohol hand sanitizer.Your airport safety plandmphoto/Getty ImagesAirports — especially with lines at security, boarding gates, and within the plane itself — are risky because of the close proximity to other people. Wear your mask at all times and keep as much distance from others as you can.When the TSA has you lower your mask for identity verification, touch it from the ear loops rather than the middle to avoid transferring any germs on the fabric onto your hands. It's wise to sanitize or wash your hands after you've touched security trays, not so much because of the coronavirus, but to protect yourself from other germs.As for the plane itself, airlines have stepped up their disinfecting regimens. Many use electrostatic foggers nightly — sometimes between every flight. They spray a fine mist of disinfectant throughout the plane, and the electrostatic charge causes it to stick to all surfaces, not just fall to the floor.Though COVID isn't transmitted by touching things, don't assume your flight has been freshly fogged with disinfectant. Planes can be filthy. It's still wise to wipe down everything in your seat area with a disinfecting wipe like Clorox Ultra Clean Disinfecting Wipes; many airlines now hand out disinfecting wipes as you board, too.If you bring your own, look for "disinfecting" and at least 60% alcohol on the label — a cleaning wipe rids your tray table of that splash of Coke, but it won't kill bacteria and viruses. Settle into your seat and wipe down everything you're likely to touch: the seat belt, armrests, the tray table, the air vent, the window-shade handle, and all places you need to touch to operate the entertainment system.Then, thoroughly clean your hands with sanitizer. The TSA increased the size limit for sanitizer during the pandemic, and until further notice, you're allowed to bring one bottle that's up to 12 ounces in your carry-on bag. If you're flying internationally, note that some countries maintain the 3-ounce limit.Disinfectant Wipes On the Go (small)Power Mist Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer (small)You might be worried about sitting in an enclosed space for hours, but the air on planes is cleaner than in many indoor places, and airlines' mandatory mask policies help protect everyone from virus particles that anyone could be breathing out. A September 2021 peer-reviewed, real-world study showed that the risk of contracting COVID-19 on a plane is 0.1% thanks to mask policies, requiring negative COVID tests to fly, and planes' hospital-grade air filtration systems.When a plane cruises, the cabin air refreshes every three to four minutes, using both fresh air from outside and air that's gone through HEPA filters that remove virtually all viruses.However, if you need to eat or drink on a plane, it's wise to wait a few minutes after the people around you have put their masks back on before you take yours off.Minimize moving around on the plane, including wrestling carry-on luggage in and out of the overhead bin. If you need to use the restroom, be sure to close the toilet lid before you flush. After washing your hands for 20 seconds and drying them, use a paper towel to unlock and open the door. Avoid touching seatbacks as you return to your own, both to keep your hands clean (headrests are the dirtiest surfaces inside an airplane cabin) and so you don't disturb other passengers.After your flight, it's smart to avoid crowds around the baggage carousel — wait until space clears before you grab your bag.You'll also want to check your destination's latest COVID-19 rules for arriving passengers. Some countries require everyone, whether vaccinated or not, to have a negative COVID-19 test on arrival and self-isolate until it's confirmed negative.Our expertsFor this article, we deeply researched across leading health organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). We also spoke with the following experts:Joyce Sanchez, MD, the medical director of the Travel Health Clinic at Froedtert and the Medical College of WisconsinDr. Abe Malkin, MD, MBA, the founder and medical director of Concierge MD LAJagdish Khubchandani, PhD, a professor of public health at New Mexico State UniversityThis piece was also medically reviewed for accuracy before publishing by Dr. David Aronoff, MD, director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 15th, 2021

Check out these pictures showing how an airliner that crashed and sank to the ocean floor was recovered

The recovery operation required special underwater retrieval equipment and a coordinated effort between several organizations Forward fuselage on Bold Horizon NTSB The National Transportation Safety Board recovered a sunken Transair Boeing 737 from the ocean floor. The cargo plane broke into two pieces when it crash-landed off the coast of Hawaii, though both pilots survived. The job took 20 days to complete and required specialized underwater equipment, a research vessel, and a barge. Recovering an aircraft is a big job for the National Transportation Safety Board, which is the federal agency tasked with investigating civil transportation accidents and recovering crashed or damaged vehicles. NTSB at Connecticut crash site NTSB/AP Source: NTSB In late October, the NTSB finished the daunting task of lifting a submerged Boeing 737 aircraft from the ocean floor off the coast of Hawaii. The plane, which was operated by air cargo company Transair, sunk on July 2 after the pilots reported anomalies in both engines after takeoff from Honolulu and ditched the plane in the ocean. Transair aircraft Chris Heaton/Airliners.net Source: NTSB Both pilots, who were the aircraft's sole occupants, survived after escaping through the jet's cockpit windows. The plane came to a rest on an ocean shelf at a depth of 350-450 feet, according to the NTSB. Images of aircraft on display screens the remotely operated vehicle specialists used to survey and rig the wreckage NTSB Source: NTSB NTSB investigators prepped for the recovery for over three months, having conducted interviews, evaluated air traffic control data, and located the wreckage. The underwater survey of the crash showed the plane broke into two main pieces: the forward section with the cockpit... Sea Engineering Inc. via NTSB Source: NTSB And the aft section with the tail and wings attached. Four of the six cargo containers were still inside the aft section, with the two other containers having separated but still near the wreckage. Sea Engineering Inc. via NTSB Source: NTSB Both engines and the forward landing gear also detached from the sunken plane and a pallet of cargo was found nearby. Sea Engineering Inc. via NTSB Source: NTSB The recovery is unique because when the plane crash-landed on the water, it broke into two large sections instead of fragmented pieces, NTSB senior safety investigator Lorena Ward said at a briefing in Hawaii. Forward fuselage NTSB Source: NTSB The recovery operation required special underwater retrieval equipment and a coordinated effort between several organizations, including state and federal agencies and entities contracted by Transair's insurance company. Three NTSB investigators were on scene, with two working 12-hour shifts on the vessel. Remotely operated vehicle (ROV) on the Bold Horizon NTSB Source: NTSB The contracted organizations included the Eclipse Group, which provided its Bold Horizon research vessel equipped with remotely operated vehicles and other underway equipment... NTSB investigators boarding the Bold Horizon NTSB Source: NTSB And Curtin Maritime Corporation's Salta Verde barge, pulled by the company's Shirley C tug. Both vessels sailed from California to the wreckage, arriving in mid-October, and were used to rig the plane, bring it to the surface, and eventually to shore in Hawaii. Salta Verde barge Curtin Maritime Corporation Source: NTSB For the operation, Transair's insurance company also contracted the Pacific Environmental Corporation for marine clean-up if needed and the NTSB worked with state and federal agencies to minimize the environmental impacts caused by the recovery. Left engine recovery NTSB Source: NTSB According to the NTSB, a protected species observer was on the vessel to monitor any encounters with endangered species, like Hawaiian monk seals and sea turtles, though none were encountered. Forward fuselage recovery NTSB Source: NTSB Ward explained that the recovery relied on specific environmental conditions because, to lift the plane, there needs to be the perfect combination of wind, waves, and swell. Forward fuselage NTSB Source: NTSB The recovery effort began on October 12 when the Bold Horizon departed Honolulu for the crash site with two NTSB investigators, two Boeing engineers, and a team of recovery specialists in tow. Bold Horizon as it departs Honolulu for the crash site NTSB Source: NTSB The first task involved retrieving the separated pieces of the jet, including the two engines and forward landing gear. The team used cables and straps to rig the pieces and brought them to shore on October 17. Engine on the Bold Horizon after recovery NTSB Source: NTSB The vessel then set out for a second time to recover the two pieces of the fuselage. The 37-foot, 15,500-pound forward section was recovered first by the Blue Horizon's crane and was brought to shore on October 22. Forward fuselage being pulled up onto the Bold Horizon NTSB Source: NTSB The aft section was recovered second, and the retrieval was much more challenging than the forward piece due to its size and weight, according to the NTSB. The aft section measures about 63 feet long and weighs around 48,500 pounds empty and around 60,500 pounds with the four cargo containers inside. Aft fuselage recovery NTSB Source: NTSB The team had to carefully rig the section so that the wings and tail would not fall off as it was lifted, which the crew successfully did on October 30. The team also recovered smaller pieces of the plane and cargo. The job took 20 days to complete from start to finish. NTSB investigator inspects inside of forward fuselage NTSB Source: NTSB The NTSB will document each piece of the fuselage, which will remain in Hawaii. Meanwhile, the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder will be transported to the agency's lab in Washington DC where they will be "cleaned, dried, downloaded, and analyzed." Forward fuselage on Bold Horizon NTSB Source: NTSB The two engines will be placed on the Salta Verde barge and sailed back to the mainland where NTSB investigators will oversee the teardown and examination of both. NTSB investigator inspecting right engine on shore NTSB Source: NTSB According to the NTSB, the full investigation will take 12-24 months to complete and will include "a comprehensive examination of the airplane structure, engines, systems, maintenance, survival factors, vehicle performance, air traffic control, human factors, federal oversight, and emergency response." NTSB investigator photo documenting the cockpit NTSB Source: NTSB Once the investigation is complete, the NTSB will release a report that will have the probable cause, any contributing factors, and any safety recommendations, according to Ward. Right engine after being brought to shore NTSB Source: NTSB Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 7th, 2021

Business Travel’s Demise Could Have Far-Reaching Consequences

In 2019, Jason Henrichs took 46 flights for business, traveling to cities where he stayed at hotels, dined at local restaurants, and sometimes even visited tourist attractions like the Liberty Bell. In 2020, he took just three flights. The traveling life has its perks—Henrichs, the CEO of Alloy Labs, a consortium of community banks, has… In 2019, Jason Henrichs took 46 flights for business, traveling to cities where he stayed at hotels, dined at local restaurants, and sometimes even visited tourist attractions like the Liberty Bell. In 2020, he took just three flights. The traveling life has its perks—Henrichs, the CEO of Alloy Labs, a consortium of community banks, has Executive Platinum status on American Airlines, Gold Elite status at Marriott, and membership in not one but three private airport lounges. He has 350,000 miles, which he can use to fly his whole family across the world for free. But forced to stay at home during the pandemic, Henrichs got a taste of a life where he sees his family more, and is just as effective at work. He’s even been able to convince banking colleagues who have long been averse to giving up in-person meetings to move online. The talks he once flew across the country to deliver to boards of directors are more frequently streamed online now, and so are the meetings that would have lasted in a bank over 2 or 3 days but now are spread out over short Microsoft Teams huddles over 2 or 3 weeks. And lo and behold, he and his colleagues are getting more done. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] “This isn’t about just reducing expense. This is about increasing effectiveness,” says Henrichs, who says he’ll likely travel once a month, rather than once a week, after the pandemic. Lucy Hewett—The New York Times/ReduxUnited Airlines planes in storage at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago on Sept. 11, 2020. Tens of thousands of road warriors like Henrichs—and their employers—are coming to a similar conclusion, which is going to cause a reckoning for the already-battered leisure and hospitality sector. U.S. companies’ travel budgets declined by 90% or more in 2020, according to Deloitte Insights. Even if the pandemic ebbs, companies looking to become more environmentally sustainable won’t likely go back to the same volume of travel as before; corporations like Zurich Insurance Group AG, Bain & Company, and S&P Global have announced plans to cut business travel emissions in the next few years, with Zurich aiming to reduce emissions by as much as 70% by next year. This could mean big losses for airlines, hotels, rental car companies, and other industries catering to corporate travelers. Business travelers make up 12% of airline passengers but 75% of revenues on certain flights. They brought in steady revenue to hotels when they attended conferences and events and then stayed a few extra days to vacation with their families. Some executives predict that business travel will return to 85% of pre-pandemic levels, says Lindsey Roeschke, managing director for travel and hospitality analysis at Morning Consult. She considers that an optimistic take. “Even if I’m wrong, and we do see a return to those levels,” she says, “that’s still a massive loss for the industry as a whole.” The hospitality industry is feeling it. During the pandemic, rental car companies like Hertz, hotels like the Fairmont in San Jose, and international airlines including Aeromexico, Virgin Atlantic, and LATAM all filed for bankruptcy protection. Government supports that kept the U.S. airline industry afloat ended September 30. The hotel industry is expected to earn $59 billion less in business travel revenue this year compared to 2019, according to the American Hotel and Lobby Association. Airlines are expected to lose $51.8 billion in 2021 alone. “We’ve been burning cash for 18 months,” says Dave Harvey, vice president of Southwest Business. And now the government support has ended. “We’re all flying naked at this point in the fourth quarter.” It can be hard to picture those losses in terms of billions of dollars. But it may be easier to picture the ripple effects—businesses closed, workers laid off, airlines canceling flights—of hundreds of thousands of Jason Henrichses traveling less. Tom Brenner—ReutersWaiting chairs are wrapped in plastic near a train platform at Union Station in Washington, D.C., on April 16, 2020. The ripple effects of fewer business travelers One of Henrichs’ favorite business travel destinations was Boston; he and his family lived there years ago, so he still had friends he could grab dinner with after a day of meetings. He’d stay near Back Bay, say, at the Marriott Copley Place, and wake up early to go for a long run by the Charles River before work. He hasn’t been there since October of 2019. Some of the places where he used to meet friends are now gone. He’d get dinner at Eastern Standard in Kenmore Square, or oysters at Island Creek, but both are now closed permanently after negotiations broke down between the restaurant owners and the real estate group that owned the properties. He usually flies American Airlines, but since the pandemic, that airline has dropped some routes and is considering where else to cut. American is facing staffing shortages after furloughing flight attendants and offering buyouts to pilots during the pandemic; it has about 16,000 fewer employees than it did in 2019. Henrichs stays mostly at Marriott hotels because it’s where he has elite status. Boston’s flagship Marriott, at Copley Place downtown, laid off 230 employees in September. Overall, Marriott hotels in the U.S. and Canada had a 45% occupancy rate for the three months ending June 30, compared to 80% in the same period in 2019, according to earnings reports. At least four Marriotts in New York City have closed permanently since the beginning of the pandemic. It’s not just big companies that are struggling. Elizabeth Morales was a housekeeper at the Boston Copley Place for 26 years until she was sent home in March 2020 because of the pandemic. The company kept telling her they’d call her back when it got busier, until September of 2020, when it called her and hundreds of others and said their positions had been terminated. “It was really hard for me,” says Morales, 51, who supports her elderly parents. She applied for 30 jobs before she found a new one only a few months ago. Unite Here Local 26 organized a boycott of the Marriott, alleging the hotel is contracting out operations to companies who pay workers less. Ironically, cuts like this could also make travel less pleasant for everyone when they return to travel. Business travelers subsidized other travelers, to some degree, so as they disappear, airlines are figuring out how to cut costs. They’re cutting routes to cities that people visited primarily for business, routing more flights through hubs, and talking a lot about efficiency. These cost savings also mean fewer available pilots and other flight crew, so weather delays and maintenance issues can trigger a huge chain of delays, as they did last week when Southwest canceled about a quarter of its flights after weather problems in Florida disrupted its network. Other airlines may see similar issues, especially if travel gets busier during the holidays. “We’re concerned about the holiday travel season—they say we’re going to fly more during the winter than we did in the summer, but we’re worried they don’t have the ability to fly that many planes,” says Capt. Dennis Tajer, a spokesman for the Allied Pilots Assn., which represents American Airlines pilots. (American did not return a request for comment, citing the quiet period before the company reports earnings on Oct. 21.) Henrichs has already noticed the changes. On a recent trip to Harrisburg in August, Henrichs was told on a Friday, after weather delays and mechanical issues had grounded his plane, that the airline couldn’t get him home until Tuesday. (American cut a number of flights this summer because of weather, mechanical issues, and staffing shortages.) Rather than wait around, he rented a car and drove to Philadelphia, where he hoped to get on a plane the next day, only to find that Marriott’s website had crashed and the hotel where he thought he’d made a reservation was actually sold out. He went door to door until he found a vacancy at the Homeaway Suites, but by then it was 11 p.m. and there were no nearby restaurants open, so his dinner was a Bud Light and a bag of chips. He got home the next day. “The system has become less resilient,” he says. Paul Yeung—Bloomberg/Getty ImagesLuggage carts outside Hong Kong International Airport on Jan. 26, 2021. Some companies still think business travel will return Some hospitality companies contest the idea that business travel won’t come back. “We are optimistic that we’ve turned a corner,” Anthony Capuano, Marriott’s CEO, said on an August earnings call, although special corporate bookings were down 45% compared to the same period in 2019. On a recent earnings call, Delta said it expected business travel to be back to 60% volume by the end of this year, and potentially 80-100% by the following year. Southwest Airlines has actually doubled down on business travel during the pandemic, adding 18 airports, dozens of sales staff, and making it easier for corporations to book flights through their own travel systems “There’s a pent up demand for face-to-face business meetings, conferences, events, networking—people are just starved for that,” says Harvey, of Southwest Business. Southwest is hoping to capture those travelers by attracting companies who want to pay lower fares but still want to travel, he says. He also argues that since companies have more remote employees now, there’s a new class of business travelers who have to fly to headquarters a few times a year. But even people who have spent decades on the road say that the pandemic has made them realize that technology has finally made it feasible to have good communication without traveling. Tina Perkins, who has worked for Epic Systems, a Madison, Wisc.-based electronic medical records company, for 20 years, says she loved traveling to a new city once or twice a month to help hospitals implement Epic software. But “I have been sort of shocked at how we have been able to adapt,” she says. “We are as effective in this hybrid world, which was surprising having done some things one way for such a long period of time.” She says she’ll likely travel once every 4-6 weeks going forward, rather than once every 2-4 weeks. Other Epic travelers have made the switch too; employees now take, in total, about 1,000 trips a month, down from 3,500 before the pandemic. Mario Tama—Getty ImagesAn aerial view of rental cars parked at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on May 20, 2020. The hotels and airlines that figure out how to make their model work without business travelers are going to be in the best position going forward, says Anthony Jackson, the U.S. Airlines Subsector leader at Deloitte. During the last recession, airlines expanded their premium economy seats to attract economy travelers who were willing to pay for an upgrade but not first class, and cost-conscious business travelers. Now, airlines will likely further expand premium economy, in part to give travelers still worried about COVID-19 a way to pay for more elbow room, says Alan Lewis, managing director for L.E.K. Consulting. Delta said October 13 that it actually made a profit in the three months that ended Sept 30, and that premium cabin seats drove much of that recovery. Business travel is still less than 50% recovered, the company said. Like airlines, hotels are going to have to think up new ways to attract traveler money, says Roeschke, of Morning Consult. They might decide to try and lure digital nomads who don’t have to pay rent anymore and are traveling around the country as they work. Or they may offer “bleisure” – business leisure – packages to people who want to work and vacation all in one trip. That may attract travelers like Henrichs, who still has to make some work trips. On his last business trip before the pandemic, Henrichs attended a weeklong conference of the American Banking Association in Orlando. Since his in-laws live near-by, he used miles to fly his wife and kids down to Orlando, too. They rented an Airbnb near the conference, and he commuted back and forth via Lyft. Still, the American Banking Assn. is holding the same conference this year in Tampa, but neither Henrichs nor his family are attending. There is a silver lining to Henrichs traveling less frequently though; he says he’s spending more locally. He and his family are going out to local restaurants and checking out neighborhoods and businesses he would have been too burned out to try back in the days when he was always on the road. He hopes this will lead to a resurgence of stores on Main Street, the type of places that business travelers might not have deigned to visit. “Normally, I travel so much that by the time I get home, I want to eat at home,” he says. “Now, I’m home plenty. So eating out can be fun again.”    .....»»

Category: topSource: timeOct 20th, 2021

Watch Russia beat NASA and Tom Cruise to launch the first film crew to the space station on Tuesday

Cosmonauts will help actress Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko film a movie on the space station. NASA and Tom Cruise want to do the same. Cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, actress Yulia Peresild, and film director Klim Shipenko attend a training session for their expedition to the International Space Station at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on September 19, 2021. Roscosmos/Handout via Reuters Russia plans to launch actress Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko to the space station on Tuesday. The duo will spend 10 days filming the first feature-length movie in space, with cosmonauts' help. NASA has been planning to film Tom Cruise on the ISS, but the Russian crew will go first. See more stories on Insider's business page. Russia is about to beat NASA to filming the first full-length movie in space.The Russian space agency, Roscosmos, plans to launch a two-person film crew to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard a Soyuz rocket on Tuesday. Actress Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko are set to climb aboard the spacecraft with cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, lifting off from Kazakhstan at 4:55 a.m. ET.NASA TV will broadcast the launch live in the video embedded below. The livestream will also include the spaceship docking to the ISS at 8:12 a.m. ET, then show the film star, director, and cosmonaut floating into the station at about 10 a.m.Shkaplerov will tally his fourth spaceflight as he pilots the spaceship. On the space station, Peresild and Shipenko are scheduled to spend 10 days filming on Russia's side, with the help of cosmonauts. In the movie, called "Challenge," Peresild plays a doctor who launches to the ISS to save a cosmonaut, according to The New York Times. The Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft blasts off to the International Space Station from the launchpad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on April 9, 2021. NASA/Bill Ingalls/Handout via Reuters "I am not afraid," Peresild said in a recent news conference, according to the Times. Still, she added, "fear is normal."As part of her training, Peresild went on a parabolic airplane flight, which flies arcs up and down to simulate the microgravity of the ISS for about 30 seconds at a time."For the first two seconds it's scary," Peresild said, according to the Times. "After that, it's beautiful." Actress Yulia Peresild ahead of her expedition to the International Space Station on September 19, 2021. Andrey Shelepin/GCTC/Roscosmos/Handout via Reuters She's poised to beat Tom Cruise to become the first actor to film in space. NASA announced last year that it was in talks with Cruise about filming a movie on the ISS, but no timeline was ever publicized.Roscosmos announced its own space-movie mission a few months later, sending out a casting call for actresses to star in it. The agency ultimately tapped Peresild and reshuffled its spaceflight schedule to make an October launch possible.NASA will break a spaceflight record by making room for the film crewPeresild and Shipenko are set to return to Earth on another Soyuz spaceship on October 16, landing in Kazakhstan just after midnight ET the next day. Shkaplerov will stay aboard the station to carry out a six-month shift, while cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy will finish his shift and return home with the film crew. NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei does maintenance inside the space station's Harmony module on June 9, 2021. NASA NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and cosmonaut Petr Dubrov, who flew up to the ISS with Novitskiy, are giving up their return seats for the actress and director. The two men will instead return to Earth in March after spending nearly a year in space. By then, Vande Hei's mission will be the longest spaceflight ever completed by an American, breaking the previous record held by astronaut Scott Kelly."I don't think it's really my record - I think it would be the whole team's," Vande Hei told Insider in August. "It's just another step forward for humanity. I also don't expect that to be a record that would last very long, because we're doing bigger and better things all the time."One year in space would be "a drop in the bucket compared to a Mars flight," he added.2021 is the year of amateur spacefarers The Inspiration4 crew inside a model Crew Dragon spaceship. Left to right: Chris Sembroski, Sian Proctor, Jared Isaacman, and Hayley Arceneaux. SpaceX Peresild and Shipenko are joining a new cohort of space tourists and amateur astronauts.In July, billionaire Richard Branson flew to the edge of space, experiencing microgravity as he lingered there for a few minutes aboard a space plane built by his company, Virgin Galactic. Then just nine days later, Jeff Bezos skimmed the edge of space aboard the New Shepard spacecraft developed by Blue Origin, the company he founded in 2000.In September, SpaceX launched its first tourist crew into orbit. Billionaire Jared Isaacman chartered the company's Crew Dragon spaceship for a three-day flight. The mission, called Inspiration4, included Isaacman and three other people as its crew, none of whom are professional astronauts. The team did, however, complete nearly six months of training to operate the spaceship.More amateur spaceflights are still to come. In December, Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa is scheduled to take a Soyuz spacecraft on his own joy ride to the ISS.Then in February, SpaceX plans to launch three paying customers and one former astronaut to the space station for the company Axiom Space.This story has been updated. It was originally published on September 30, 2021.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytOct 4th, 2021

Russia is launching the first film crew to the space station on Tuesday - beating NASA and Tom Cruise

Cosmonauts will help actress Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko film a movie on the space station. NASA and Tom Cruise want to do the same. Cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, actress Yulia Peresild and film director Klim Shipenko attend a training session for their expedition to the International Space Station, at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, September 19, 2021. Roscosmos/Handout via Reuters Russia plans to launch actress Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko to the space station on Tuesday. The duo will spend 10 days filming the first feature-length movie in space, with cosmonauts' help. NASA has been planning to film Tom Cruise on the ISS, but the Russian crew will go first. See more stories on Insider's business page. Russia is about to beat NASA to filming the first full-length movie in space.The Russian space agency, Roscosmos, plans to launch a two-person film crew to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard a Soyuz rocket next week. Actress Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko are set to climb aboard the spacecraft with cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, lifting off from Kazakhstan at 4:55 a.m. ET on Tuesday. The Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft blasts off to the space station from Kazakhstan, April 9, 2021. NASA/Bill Ingalls/Handout via Reuters Shkaplerov will tally his fourth spaceflight as he pilots the spaceship. On the space station, Peresild and Shipenko are scheduled to spend 10 days filming on Russia's side, with the help of cosmonauts. In the movie, called "Challenge," Peresild plays a doctor who launches to the ISS to save a cosmonaut, according to The New York Times."I am not afraid," Peresild said in a recent news conference, according to the Times. Still, she added, "fear is normal."As part of her training, Peresild went on a parabolic airplane flight, which flies arcs up and down to simulate the microgravity of the ISS for about 30 seconds at a time."For the first two seconds it's scary," Peresild said, according to the Times. "After that, it's beautiful." Actress Yulia Peresild ahead of her expedition to the International Space Station, September 19, 2021. Andrey Shelepin/GCTC/Roscosmos/Handout via Reuters She's poised to beat Tom Cruise to become the first actor to film in space. NASA announced last year that it was in talks with Cruise about filming a movie on the ISS, but no timeline was ever publicized.Roscosmos announced its own space-movie mission a few months later, sending out a casting call for actresses to star in it. The agency ultimately tapped Peresild and reshuffled its spaceflight schedule to make an October launch possible.NASA will break a spaceflight record by making room for the film crewPeresild and Shipenko are set to return to Earth on another Soyuz spaceship on October 16, landing in Kazakhstan just after midnight ET the next day. Shkaplerov will stay aboard the station to carry out a six-month shift, while cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy will finish his shift and return home with the film crew. NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei does maintenance inside the space station's Harmony module, June 9, 2021. NASA NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and cosmonaut Petr Dubrov, who flew up to the ISS with Novitskiy, are giving up their return seats for the actress and director. The two men will instead return to Earth in March after spending nearly a year in space. By then, Vande Hei's mission will be the longest spaceflight ever completed by an American, breaking the previous record held by astronaut Scott Kelly."I don't think it's really my record - I think it would be the whole team's," Vande Hei told Insider in August. "It's just another step forward for humanity. I also don't expect that to be a record that would last very long, because we're doing bigger and better things all the time."One year in space would be "a drop in the bucket compared to a Mars flight," he added.2021 is the year of amateur spacefarers The Inspiration4 crew inside a model Crew Dragon spaceship. Left to right: Chris Sembroski, Sian Proctor, Jared Isaacman, and Hayley Arceneaux. SpaceX Peresild and Shipenko are joining a new cohort of space tourists and amateur astronauts.In July, billionaire Richard Branson flew to the edge of space, experiencing microgravity as he lingered there for a few minutes aboard a space plane built by his company, Virgin Galactic. Then just nine days later, Jeff Bezos skimmed the edge of space aboard the New Shepard spacecraft developed by Blue Origin, the company he founded in 2000.Earlier this month, SpaceX launched its first tourist crew into orbit. Billionaire Jared Isaacman chartered the company's Crew Dragon spaceship for a three-day flight. The mission, called Inspiration4, included Isaacman and three other people as its crew, none of whom are professional astronauts. The team did, however, complete nearly six months of training in order to operate the spaceship.More amateur spaceflights are still to come. In December, Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa is scheduled to take a Soyuz spacecraft on his own joy ride to the ISS.Then in February, SpaceX plans to launch three paying customers and one former astronaut to the space station for the company Axiom Space.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytSep 30th, 2021

Cracks found on the International Space Station are a "fairly serious issue," a former NASA astronaut says

NASA says mysterious cracks on Russia's Zarya module are not currently a threat to astronauts. But there may be more, and they may spread. The International Space Station, photographed by Expedition 56 crew members from a Soyuz spacecraft. NASA/Roscosmos Former NASA astronaut Bill Shepherd gave Congress new details about cracks on the space station. About half a dozen cracks appeared in Russia's Zarya module, but they aren't a danger to astronauts. Investigating the cracks is a "fairly serious issue," Shepherd said, and there are probably more. See more stories on Insider's business page. Cracks are appearing on the International Space Station, and retired NASA astronaut Bill Shepherd says they're a "fairly serious issue."After Russian cosmonauts spotted the cracks on the station's Zarya module, Vladimir Solovyov, flight director of the Russian segment of the ISS, publicly revealed the discovery in August. The cracks don't pose a danger to astronauts at this time, NASA says, and the agency told Insider last month that nobody had identified "new potential leak sites" on the station.But in a House committee hearing on Tuesday, Shepherd told Congressional representatives that "there are probably other cracks we haven't found yet.""As far as I know, the Russian engineers and the NASA engineers - they've analyzed it - they don't exactly understand why these cracks are appearing now," Shepherd said.Shepherd has flown to orbit four times on the Space Shuttles. He worked on the International Space Station Program when its first modules were launching, and he commanded the first crew to the station in 2000. He said at the hearing that he'd learned more about the cracks in two meetings of NASA's ISS Advisory Committee, which he recently joined.The cracks are "quite small - they look like scratches on the surface of the aluminum plate," Shepherd said, adding, "there are probably something like half a dozen of them."NASA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.'This is bad' A Soyuz spacecraft approaches a docking port on the space station's Zarya module, December 22, 2009. NASA Shepherd told the House committee that currently, the cracks are not long enough to pose a "serious problem."But last month, Solovyov told state-owned news agency RIA: "This is bad and suggests that the fissures will begin to spread over time," according to a Reuters report translating his statement.Solovyov did not share how extensive the cracks were at the time.Shepherd didn't say whether NASA and Russia plan to further investigate the cracks beyond the analysis they already finished. In the past, both space agencies have taken their time when investigating and repairing issues that don't threaten the safety of astronauts or interfere with ISS operations.The space station is getting old An illustration shows an Axiom Space module orbiting above Earth. Axiom Space The ISS has been orbiting Earth for 20 years, and it's showing signs of age. Russia's side of the space station hosts some of its oldest components, and the cracks are the latest in a series of issues in those modules.Last year, a toilet on the segment went bust, temperatures mysteriously increased, and an oxygen-supply system broke down. In September 2019, another space-station module, Zvezda, which provides living quarters for the cosmonauts, started leaking air. That wasn't an immediate danger to astronauts, and they eventually found the hole and patched it with Kapton tape.Russian media previously reported that Solovyov told the Russian Academy of Sciences: "There are already a number of elements that have been seriously damaged and are out of service. Many of them are not replaceable. After 2025, we predict an avalanche-like failure of numerous elements onboard the ISS."Even Russia's newest module - a spacecraft called Nauka, which it launched to the ISS in July - has experienced serious problems. Shortly after it docked to the station, Nauka began unexpectedly firing its thrusters. This caused the entire ISS to spin around 540 degrees and flip upside down before flight controllers regained control an hour later. A screenshot from NASA's livestream shows the Nauka module approaching its port on the International Space Station, July 29, 2021. NASA via Youtube NASA has the funds to keep operating the ISS through 2024, and it's aiming to get an extension from Congress to continue the station's activities through 2028.But Shepherd said that NASA should first solve the mystery of the Zarya module's new cracks."Getting to the bottom of this is a fairly serious issue," Shepherd said. "I don't think the station's in any immediate danger. But before we clear the station for another so many years of operational use, we should better understand this."The ISS will eventually be retired and push itself into the atmosphere to burn up. After that, NASA doesn't want to build a new station; the agency is recruiting private companies to do that instead. It's currently evaluating about a dozen space-station proposals from various companies, with the aim of distributing $400 million among two to four of them. Sergei Krikalev (left) and James H. Newman begin work on the Zarya module, December 11, 1998 NASA Eventually, NASA hopes to be one of many customers on private commercial space stations.The agency has already awarded Axiom Space $140 million to fly modules up to the ISS that will eventually detach from it to become their own space station. Axiom aims to launch its first module to the ISS in 2024.China, meanwhile, launched the first piece of its own space station earlier this year, and astronauts completed their first three-month mission there last week.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytSep 22nd, 2021

Blow up your Instagram with these 10 over-the-top hotels in the US

Here are 10 cool, photogenic US hotels to post about on Instagram, with over-the-top decor, dramatic architecture, and eccentric rooms. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. The Saguaro When choosing a hotel, social media-minded travelers place a high value on a visual appeal. Many hotels design with Instagram in mind, with decor ranging from highly curated to eccentric. We found the most photogenic hotels across the US with options for all budgets and travelers. Table of Contents: Masthead StickyThe saying goes, "pics or it didn't happen," and when it comes to travel, that is especially true. After all, vacation visuals that get posted to social media serve as photogenic proof that you had an incredible time away, inspiring others' travel decisions, and perhaps even a bit of travel envy.Whether or not you're an influencer commanding a major social media presence, it's nice to visit somewhere that is visually appealing, both on and off the 'Gram. That's why we rounded up some of the most Instagram-worthy hotels across the United States, each catering to a variety of aesthetics.You can be sure that each and every hotel on this list has gorgeous decor that'll photograph perfectly, even if you're relatively inexperienced behind the camera.Browse all the most Instagrammable hotels in the US below, or jump directly to a specific area here.The most Instagrammable hotels in the USFAQ: Instagrammable hotelsHow we selected the most Instagrammable hotelsMore photogenic accommodationsThese are the most Instagrammable hotels in the US, sorted by price from low to high. The Roxbury This suite is inspired by the tale of "Cinderella" with a bathroom entrance fashioned out of her pumpkin carriage. Roxbury Hotel Book The RoxburyCategory: Budget Location: Roxbury, NYTypical starting/peak prices: $95/$138Best for: Couples, families, friendsOn-site amenities: Pool, spa, hiking trails (to a waterfall!)Pros: Between the property's two hotels, there are about two dozen room themes, meaning there's something to tickle everyone's fancy.Cons: There's no on-site restaurant, but daily breakfast is included. Guests are charged to use the pool (a one-time, not daily fee), which eliminates the need for a resort fee.When it comes to themed hotel rooms, no one does them quite like The Roxbury in New York's Catskills region.Made up of two hotels, the Roxbury Motel and the Roxbury at Stratton Falls, there are 28 whimsical rooms and suites. Entry-level rooms are fairly traditional, though still bold in colors, but it's the suites and cottages that really dazzle.Themes range from Maryann's Coconut Cream Pie, where the ceiling looks as if it's coated in undulating meringue; and The Wizard's Emeralds, a riff on "The Wizard of Oz" complete with a yellow brick (or, in this case, yellow tile) road and a glittering green bedspread worthy of the Emerald City. Additionally, the Tower Cottages are standalone duplex suites with themes like the Faerie Forest, where interiors resemble whimsical woods plucked out of a fairy tale, with flowers, ferns, mushrooms, and gnarled tree branches adorning every inch.The Roxbury also has a pool with a spa that appears warped to create the illusion that it's defying gravity, alongside a hot tub, dry sauna, and treatment rooms. There are also hiking trails, one of which leads to a 50-foot waterfall.COVID-19 procedures are available here. The Saguaro Palm Springs The colorful Saguaro is one of Palm Springs' most recognizable hotels. Tripadvisor Book The Saguaro Palm SpringsCategory: BudgetLocation: Palm Springs, CATypical starting/peak prices: $129/$350Best for: Couples, friends, solo travelersOn-site amenities: Pool, restaurants, bars, gym, spaPros: The pool is the place to see and be seen — and to take your Instagrams. Pool parties are particularly boisterous, and the rainbow backdrop of the hotel brightens up any photographs.Cons: There's a mandatory $38 (plus tax) resort fee, which makes seemingly affordable room rates less appealing.Palm Springs is a desert oasis primarily known for two things: amazing midcentury architecture and a raucous party scene, particularly at its hotels. The Saguaro Palm Springs is no exception to either.The hotel was built in 1971 but underwent a major renovation in 2012 by the same group behind the ultra-hip Ace Hotels. That refurbishment brought about the brightly painted exterior with a gradient rainbow effect for which the hotel is best known. These vibrant, cheerful colors carry throughout the entire property, most notably in the courtyard pool area. Paired with swaying palm trees, bright yellow umbrellas, and the cool blue of the pool, and it's positively photogenic.  That pool area, by the way, is one of the hotel's biggest draws. Lively parties are thrown regularly and often spill over into the Saguaro's restaurants and bars. Be sure to reserve a cabana in advance for the best spot for photos.Inside, guest rooms are similarly colorful with lemon yellow walls, royal purple carpets, and furniture done up in lime green, hot pink, or electric orange alongside technicolor striped bedspreads.COVID-19 procedures are available here. TWA Hotel Built into an old airline terminal, the TWA hotel offers a retro feel infused with heavy doses of '60s glam and nostalgia. TWA Hotel/David Mitchell Book TWA HotelCategory: BoutiqueLocation: New York, NYTypical starting/peak prices: $200/$280Best for: Couples, families, friends, solo travelers, aviation and design enthusiastsOn-site amenities: Restaurants, bars, gym, rooftop pool, event space, museums displays, ice/roller rinkPros: The main building is legendary among aviation geeks and architecture lovers, but anyone who appreciates funky design will enjoy the hotel. Don't miss the cocktail bar inside an old airplane. And, of course, if you're flying out of JFK, it doesn't get more convenient than staying here.Cons: The rooms are pretty small, even the suites. Mixed reviews cite cleanliness issues, too. You're far better off hanging out in the public spaces, which are more visually interesting anyway.As the only hotel within John F. Kennedy International Airport, the TWA Hotel is, of course, a place for those who need a place to rest pre- or post-flight. But it's also so much more, as a design-forward gem that feels like a slice of preserved history with front-row views of airplanes taking off and landing.Designed by midcentury architecture icon Eero Saarinen in 1962 (originally as a flight center for Trans World Airlines), the TWA hotel has jaw-dropping interiors. The main building, which houses the front desk, restaurants, and bars, features soaring, curved white ceilings that are not unlike a Jetsons-style spaceship with bright red carpets, classic midcentury furniture, and an old-school departures/arrivals board. Throughout the hotel and in some guest rooms, enjoy iconic views of the runway as planes land and depart, a boon for aviation enthusiasts. Rooms are small, but feel like you've stumbled onto the set of "Mad Men" with bright red Saarinen-designed Womb chairs, retro TWA travel posters, dark wood paneling, and brass accents on furniture, including a martini bar.Visiting this hotel is a lot like, walking into a time capsule, especially when you enter the hotel's cocktail bar housed within an actual 1958 Constellation airplane.COVID-19 procedures are available here. Madonna Inn The Floral Fantasy is one of 110 over-the-top themed rooms. Tripadvisor Book Madonna InnCategory: BoutiqueLocation: San Luis Obispo, CATypical starting/peak prices: $220/$580Best for: Families, friends, couplesOn-site amenities: Restaurants, bars, bakery, pool, spa, gym, dance floor, boutique, tennis, basketballPros: Every room is unique, meaning you can stay 110 times and have an entirely different experience for each visit. Cons: The decor is undoubtedly kitschy and even borderline gauche, which may not appeal to some guests. For others, it's the entire reason they're here.When it opened in 1958, the Madonna Inn in the midst of San Luis Obispo's wine country, had just 12 rooms. Today, it has 110, from economy kings to three-bedroom suites, and each one has its own absolutely one-of-a-kind, at times tacky, but highly memorable decor.In the Fabulous 50s room, teal walls are framed by pink trim, while gilded mirrors form a focal point in the bathroom. In the Victorian Gardens room, a four-post bed is matched with floral wallpaper, pink walls, and pink-velvet chairs and sofas. And in the Caveman room, the ceiling, walls, and floors are all made with rough-hewn rock, while furnishings are upholstered with animal print to complete the prehistoric theme.The rooms are spread across a 1,000-acre resort, which includes basketball and tennis courts, a pool, a retro gas station (a nod to the hotel's roots as a classic road trip stop, though today you'll find Tesla Superchargers there), a spa, a bakery, and several restaurants and bars.The eclectic decor doesn't stop in the rooms, either. Alex Madonna's Gold Rush Steak House is decked out in topsy-turvy pink and gold colors that recall either the Mad Hatter's tea party or the "Be Our Guest" scene in Beauty and the Beast." Hot pink circular banquettes are trimmed with gold, while a pink floral carpet provides punchy patterns. An organic, tree-like candelabra rises in the center of the room, its golden tendrils supporting dozens of electric candles. COVID-19 procedures are available by phone at 805-543-3000. The Greenbrier Bright colors mix heavily with punchy prints. The Greenbrier Book The GreenbrierCategory: ResortLocation: White Sulphur Springs, WVTypical starting/peak prices: $240/$425Best for: Families, couples, friends, solo travelersOn-site amenities: Restaurants, bars, casino, shopping, pool, tennis, golf, spa, ropes course, bowling, art studio, Cold War bunkerPros: Everything you could possibly want to do at a mountain resort, you can do here, whether falconry or jewelry making. It's almost shocking how many activities are offered.Cons: Some might find the decor a bit too traditional — there are lots of florals — but there's no denying it makes for a great Instagram post.Opened in 1778, the Greenbrier is an iconic American resort in West Virginia, having hosted 27 presidents throughout its history. Naturally, there have been many changes to the property over the centuries, but perhaps the most dramatic was a 1946 redecoration by lauded interior designer Dorothy Draper, who introduced lurid colors and punchy patterns into the historic buildings.Take the Greenbriar Avenue lobby, where black-and-white houndstooth club chairs sit atop bright red carpet, surrounded by teal-and-white striped columns, tropical-print wallpaper, and black-and-white checkered floors. Then in the Victorian Writing Room, rainbow-colored floral armchairs and drapes contrast with forest green walls and a bright red carpet.The guest rooms feature similar idiosyncratic decor, though perhaps not as in-your-face. Entry-level rooms all feature floral wallpaper with floral drapes to match, while higher room tiers have slightly more vibrant approaches to interior design. In the Windsor Club Rooms, you'll likely find brighter pink wallpaper, whole beds are covered by canopies, and furniture and carpets feature gingham or plaid patterns. The Greenbrier is also known for its many on-site activities, ranging from sports facilities, studios, and workshops for creative types to a casino, more than a dozen dining options, and plenty of shopping on the 11,000-acre grounds. But its most unusual amenity is a formerly secret Cold War-era bunker designed to house Congress. It's now declassified and open for tours.COVID-19 procedures are available here. Urban Cowboy Catskills Room designs are a feast for the eyes. Urban Cowboy Catskills Book Urban Cowboy CatskillsCategory: BoutiqueLocation: Big Indian, NYTypical starting/peak prices: $250/$500Best for: Couples, friends, solo travelersOn-site amenities: Restaurant, bar, games room, libraryPros: Despite being a wilderness lodge, there's very strong Wi-Fi for the WFH (or can't-be-disconnected) crowd.Cons: There are often minimum stay requirements, usually two to three nights on weekends.In New York's Catskills region, a popular weekend trip for city dwellers, the Urban Cowboy sits on 68 forested acres with plenty of outdoor recreation, but we wouldn't blame you if you wanted to spend your entire stay indoors.That's because the hotel's 28 accommodations feature super cool decor that focuses on quintessential rustic elements like deer antlers, live-wood furniture, rough-hewn wood beams, and outdoorsy accent pieces like snowshoes or oars. Colorful Native American pattern work covers the ceilings, beds, chairs, and rugs, creating a visual cacophony that feels high-design. And then there's the matter of the absolutely gorgeous copper soaking tubs set in front of big picture windows.This rugged-chic mountain style continues in public spaces, especially in the bar with a massive stone fireplace and columns that look like trees. The vibrant patterns make an appearance, too, from the walls to the sofas to the rugs.COVID-19 procedures are available here. Faena Hotel Miami Beach An attractive pool scene sets a sleek tone. Booking.com Book Faena Hotel Miami BeachCategory: LuxuryLocation: Miami Beach, FLTypical starting/peak prices: $445/$1,350Best for: Couples, friends, familiesOn-site amenities: Restaurants, bars, gym, spa, beach club, kids' clubPros: Despite its opulent, perhaps frenzied look, this is actually a surprisingly family-friendly hotel. Cons: It's 10 blocks north of South Beach, so you're not right in the heart of the action. However, there's plenty to do on-site.If it feels like Faena Hotel Miami Beach is some sort of phantasmagoric movie set, that's because it basically is. Filmmaker Baz Luhrmann and production and costume designer Catherine Martin, a husband-wife team, spearheaded the design of this Mid-Beach property, and they went all out.Public spaces are filled with sumptuous colors, dazzling metallics, and all manners of prints and patterns, from leopard spots to Art Deco geometry. Even the spa, a typically soothing space, is filled with bright colors, a neon-colored pom-pom chandelier, and bird-filled, floral landscape wallpaper.In fact, public areas are absolutely buzzing with visual elements, with a gold-covered woolly mammoth skeleton by the pool (a Damien Hirst artwork) that takes center stage.Guest rooms, however, are a bit more subdued, with white walls and wood floors to keep things grounded, accented by red and turquoise furnishings. Bits of animal print are thrown in for good measure and as subtle reminders of your larger surroundings. COVID-19 procedures are available here. The Inn of the Five Graces Guest rooms, spaces, and even bathrooms are bursts of colors, prints, and international influences. Tripadvisor Book The Inn of the Five GracesCategory: BoutiqueLocation: Santa Fe, NMTypical starting/peak prices: $715/$1,175Best for: Couples, friendsOn-site amenities: Bar, spa, gymPros: A made-to-order breakfast is included, as is a wine and cheese reception on Fridays. The spa's Tibetan-style treatment room is beautiful.Cons: There's no true on-site restaurant, but in-room dining is available via the restaurant next door.From the outside, the Inn of the Five Graces is just another (450-year-old) adobe dwelling in Santa Fe. But inside, it's a global journey along the Silk Road.Public spaces and all 24 rooms burst with colors and patterns, whether from mosaic tiles, Central Asian textiles, or South Asian works of art. The look is definitely maximalist, but the blend of international styles is somehow never overwhelming thanks to the smooth and soothing adobe walls that serve as a calming backdrop. Natural elements like wood-beamed ceilings and stone hearths also provide simple contrast.The boutique property is limited on amenities, though it has an exceptional spa treatment room inspired by Tibetan tradition (both in decor and in therapies), a gym, and in-room dining provided by a neighboring restaurant.The Inn of the Five Graces is a five-minute walk from downtown Santa Fe, but thanks to its global influences, it seems to transport you to the other side of the world.COVID-19 procedures are available here. The Villa Casa Casuarina Gianni Versace's former mansion is now a luxury hotel showcasing his ostentatious style. TripAdvisor Book The Villa Casa CasuarinaCategory: LuxuryLocation: Miami Beach, FLTypical starting/peak prices: $750/$1,400Best for: CouplesOn-site amenities: Pool, restaurant, barPros: The hotel's old-world-inspired grandeur truly is unmatched in Art Deco-filled South Beach.Cons: Because this is a major tourist site in Miami, there can be many people around snapping photos at all hours. Diners at the restaurant are loud, and noise can reach the rooms.Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace was tragically murdered in 1997, but his lavish Miami Beach mansion was preserved to pay homage to his life, and now, operates as a luxury hotel. Today it's called the Villa Casa Casuarina, and was inspired by the Alcázar de Cólon in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The Spanish-style mansion, built in 1930, captivated Versace, who bought it in 1992 and renovated it to suit his extravagant taste. It's still exquisitely over the top.The hotel's suites feature ostentatious decor in various themes. In the Azure Suite, blue-and-white decor abounds with Roman-inspired architectural details, like the medallion-inlaid pediments above the windows in the bedroom and the tromp l'oeil "plasterwork" in the bathroom. In the Signature Suite, however, there's a far more sultry vibe, with animal print upholstery, a sumptuous warm-tone marble bathroom, and gilded furnishings.But the visual highlight of the entire property is the Million Mosaic Pool, which is comprised of thousands of 24-karat gold tiles. COVID-19 procedures are available by phone at 305-908-1462​​. Amangiri Utah's luxury Amangiri resort is a favorite with celebrities. Amangiri Book AmangiriCategory: LuxuryLocation: Canyon Point, UtahTypical starting/peak prices: $1,931/$3,500Best for: CouplesOn-site amenities: Spa, restaurant, bar, poolPros: This is desert minimalism at its finest — the hotel blends perfectly into its landscape with earth-toned decor. The luxury service is unmatched.Cons: This is not the easiest property to get to, as the closest major airports are more than four hours away. But the remote location is one of the many reasons why people visit.Arguably one of the most exclusive resorts in the US, Amangiri is a lesson in understated elegance. Architecturally, the sleek hotel is designed to blend in with the stark, rocky landscape surrounding its 600 desert acres in Utah, with color palettes that match near perfectly.Despite the indulgent luxury price tag, everything here is understated. Furnishings are made of sinuous wood or matte concrete with white upholstery to maximize the natural surroundings, which are often framed by views so beautiful, they appear like a work of art. With so many clean lines, use the sky for color and take pictures at different times of day to create variation. Though it'd be easy to rest in your luxurious suite all day long, you'll want to spend time in the dramatic Aman Spa, which covers 25,000 square feet. With looming concrete walls, it can at times feel cavernous, akin to the deep canyons found just a few miles away. While expensive, the rate covers all meals (sans alcohol), some activities, and some spa treatments, too. Stunning nature, hiking, horseback riding, or climbing, are all activities that await. COVID-19 procedures are available here. FAQ: Instagrammable hotels What are other unique hotels in the US?For unusual hotels, consider the Dog Bark Park Inn in Cottonwood, Idaho, where the main building is shaped like a beagle; ​​The Inn at Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, where Christmas is celebrated year-round; and the Railroad Park Resort in Dunsmuir, California, where guests sleep in converted train cars.How do I find cool hotels to stay in?If you're looking for an Instagrammable hotel, head to Instagram to get inspired by other travelers. Search hashtags like #beautifulhotels or #coolhotels. Or trust the experts, like us!What makes a hotel Instagrammable?Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Styles that some might consider Instagram-worthy might not be quite right for the aesthetic of your feed. But in general, bold interior design is key or a stunning setting. And bold doesn't necessarily mean maximalist. A stark, minimalist interior can be visually dynamic in photographs, too.What are some of the most photogenic hotels in the world?There's no shortage of beautiful hotels in the world, whether you're looking for the classic Italian style of Villa d'Este on Lake Como, the over-the-top safari lodge Ol Jogi in Kenya's Laikipia region, or the futuristic ME by Meliá Dubai, designed by Zaha Hadid. How we selected the most Instagrammable hotels in the US As a travel writer who focuses on architecture and design, I determined that every hotel has photo-worthy design elements, whether in the guest rooms, public spaces, or exterior areas.Each property on the list is highly rated on traveler review sites like TripAdvisor, Booking.com, and Expedia.High-design hotels range greatly in budget. We've selected properties from each end of the spectrum; they cost anywhere from $95 to $$3,500 per night.Tastes vary, so we've picked a selection of decor styles. There's everything from kitschy-themed suites to magazine-worthy interior design.While COVID-19 policies vary from state to state, these hotels still have strict health and safety policies in place to protect both guests and staff. More photogenic hotels The Setai Miami Beach The best luxury hotels in the USThe best themed hotel suites for familiesThe best bucket-list Airbnbs in the US Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 21st, 2021

I went onboard the largest container ship to ever use an East Coast port and found a visual representation of American spending during the pandemic

The CMA CGM Marco Polo can carry 16,022 twenty-foot-long containers and smashed records during its first trip to the US East Coast. Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/Insider The CMA CGM Marco Polo is the largest container ship to ever call the US East Coast. With a maximum capacity of 16,022 TEUs, Marco Polo is a visual representation of how much Americans purchased during the pandemic.  Larger ships are able to call the Port of New York and New Jersey thanks to recent infrastructure improvements.  Ocean shipping has been thrust into the limelight during the shipping crisis as the public now realizes the critical role of container ships in keeping the world's economy functioning smoothly.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe backlog of container ships waiting to enter Southern California ports is spreading across the US, as Americans buy more and more goods. And the rising tide of consumerism during the pandemic has lifted all ports, including those on the US East Coast.Touring the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.Thomas Pallini/InsiderWe chartered a boat with a logistics expert to look at port congestion up close and saw how American greed is leading to shortages and empty shelvesIn May, the CMA CGM Marco Polo became the largest ship to ever call the East Coast. The Port of New York and New Jersey was the first American stop on a long voyage from Asia that was previously impossible for a ship of its size.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe largest container ship to ever visit the East Coast just arrived at the Port of New York and New Jersey: Meet the Marco PoloCMA CGM Marco Polo boasts a maximum capacity of 16,022 twenty-foot-equivalent units, or TEUs for short. One 20-foot container equals one TEU with the larger 40-foot containers equaling two TEUs.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe Bayonne Bridge guarding Newark Bay only had clearance for 12,500-TEU ships until 2019. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey elevated the roadway connecting Bayonne, New Jersey and Staten Island, New York in a $1.7 billion project to accommodate ships as large as 18,000 TEUs, just in time for the unforeseen pandemic.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderIt didn't take long for the ships calling the port to grow larger in size. The 15,072-TEU CMA CGM Brazil arrived at the port in September 2020, soon followed by the Marco Polo in May 2021.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderI went inside the East Coast's largest port and saw how a backlog of goods is moved amid never-ending chaos of ships, trucks, and trainsInsider went onboard the CMA CGM Marco Polo while it was docked in New Jersey. Here's what it's like onboard.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderA long, narrow gangway is the only way on or off the Marco Polo for anything that isn't a container. It's a long way up as the gangway sways with the weight of people on it.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderRegistered in the Bahamas, the CMA CGM Marco Polo is a nine-year-old ship delivered to the Marseille, France-based shipping giant in November 2012.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderHallways run the length of the ship's massive tower with rooms on each side.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderOur tour began in the ship's office, also known as the cargo office, where we met Captain Zeljko Mioc.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe Croatian captain has served in the maritime industry for more than 30 years, traversing the globe on container ships. Before that, he worked issuing airplane tickets at an airport.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderMarco Polo started this voyage in China, with the crossing via the Suez Canal taking around three weeks with a port call in Halifax, Canada before arriving in New York Harbor.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderPassing through the Suez Canal was normal, the crew described, even just a few weeks after the Ever Given had run aground and blocked the path for other ships.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe next stop was the bridge, located on the top floor of the tower. Luckily, there was an elevator in addition to the main stairwell to take us up.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderDirectories identify the areas of interest on each floor, helping the crew find their way around the ship.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderLike a hotel, the higher floors of the tower houses the crew bunks and staterooms for the ship’s officers. The higher the floor, the greater the rank of the crewmember.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe captain and chief engineer reside on "G deck," for example, directly below the bridge.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderWith the amount of time the average crewmember spends on the ship, it's likely that they'll soon know its directory by heart.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderMany of the rooms contain office-like workspaces with plenty of open space inside.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe corridors are largely identical but some feature artwork to break up the monotony including a print of Vincent Van Gogh's "The Starry Night."Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderPosters on the staircase leading up the bridge are also reminiscent of old airline advertisements highlighting exotic locals that this ship visits on a yearly basis.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe very top floor of the tower is the "navigation deck" which houses the bridge, also known as the wheelhouse, from where the ship is piloted.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderViews from the bridge are expansive with a line of sight for miles on a clear day, helping the crew navigate and monitor other ships in their vicinity.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderEven the New York City skyline was visible clear as day from the berth around five miles away.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe navigation deck is the limit for the containers as anything stack higher might impede the crew's line of sight.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderA maximum of seven cranes, each taller than the ship itself, serviced the ship during its time in New Jersey.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderTrucks wait alongside the ship to receive their containers and then bring them elsewhere in the port where they'll be transferred to tractor-trailers.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderLongshoremen sitting 200 feet off of the ground pluck the containers off the ship one by way in a fluid motion that takes a surprisingly short amount of time given their weight.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderBack in the bridge, a small steering wheel is tasked with maneuvering the massive ship.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderBut unlike in days past, there doesn't always have to be someone with both hands on the wheel.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderTrack pilot allows the ship to virtually drive itself, similarly to autopilot on an airplane.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe bridge is comparable to the cockpit of an airplane and many of the same gestures can be found in both. The difference is that a ship's bridge is around 10 times the size of an average airplane cockpit.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderElectronic charts help the crew navigate, just like on modern airplanes. "Before we had paper charts and now everything is electronic," Mioc said.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderA black line on the chart shows the ship's path for the past 24 hours. In Marco Polo's case, it arrived in New York Harbor and made a loop around the Statue of Liberty.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderOn the side of the screen is a gauge that identifies the wind direction and its speed. Ships the size of the Marco Polo have a wind sail that can affect their course, especially while sitting idle at anchor.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderDepth is another important factor since the ship can run aground if the water is too shallow.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderEven with the conversion to digital, shelves in the bridge still store paper-bound charts, manuals, and other necessities.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderSome charts, like posters, are taped up to the walls for easy reference.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderVery high-frequency radios, or VHF radios for short, allow the ship to communicate with others in the immediate area as well as harbor pilots. Ships have come a long way from sending messages via Morse code.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderTwo types of radar, H-band and S-band help the Marco Polo avoid other ships, especially in times of poor visibility. S-band is the long-distance radar that helps the ship see beyond just its immediate area while H-band is better for shorter distances.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderH-band is also better at receiving distress signals from other vessels and is a maritime requirement. Mioc has never had to attend to a distress call as a captain but did say that he has found himself in "distress situations."Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderIn the center of the console is a general compass while above is the magnetic compass.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderInstruments above the windows also give the pilot key information like engine rotations per minute and the rate of turn.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderOnly two crew members are typically in the bridge while the ship is in open ocean, Mioc said.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe captain, most times, is traversing the ship and checking to see that its operation is running smoothly.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderCameras around the ship also let the captain see everything that's going on.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderBut while the captain doesn't spend most of his days on the bridge, he will be present during times including periods of bad weather, intense vessel traffic, or maneuvering.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe bridge also features a small kitchenette with a coffee maker.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderAnd just beside the kitchenette is a small dining room-style table.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderCrews spend a few days in each port before moving on to the next one, with sea journeys often taking weeks.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderAfter New York, the next stop for Marco Polo was Charleston, South Carolina where it also broke records.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe life of a mariner can be filled with travel but there can be periods of extreme boredom while at sea.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderEach mariner has a job to do while on the ship but once workers are off the clock, they're still bound to the ship while it's on the water.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThere is a gymnasium and recreation room on the boat but we didn't have time to see either on the visit.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderEast Coast ports have largely been spared from the backlogs affecting those in Southern California. But experts say it's only a matter of time before more ports see lines of ships waiting to enter.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/Insider"I think we'll see [backlogs] regardless of the coast," Nathan Strang, Flexport's director of ocean trade lane management, told Insider, noting East Coast ports like the Port of Savannah are experiencing backlogs.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderMarco Polo's record-breaking voyage to the Port of New York and New Jersey might soon be smashed by an even larger ship.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderIt's the new reality in ocean shipping as more and more skyscraper-like ships seek to move hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of containers between continents every day.Touring the Port of New York and New Jersey.Thomas Pallini/InsiderRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 26th, 2021

The FAA wants to fine a passenger $40,823 on charges of drinking illegal alcohol, smoking marijuana in the lavatory, and sexually assaulting a flight attendant

The individual was one of nearly 300 passengers who have been reported for alcohol-related disruptions this year. Flight attendants will be offered self-defense training from July amid rising passenger violence.Getty Images The FAA has announced a fresh $161,823 in civil penalties against unruly passengers. A passenger accused of illegal drinking and sexually assaulting a flight attendant was fined $40,823. Nearly 300 alcohol-related incidents have been reported to the FAA in 2021. Last April, as a Southwest Airlines flight was high above California en route to San Diego, one passenger insisted on consuming alcohol they had brought on board, ignoring the instructions of a flight attendant, according to the FAA.The agency alleges the passenger then sexually assaulted that flight attendant before heading into the lavatory and smoking marijuana. When the plane reached the gate, the FAA says the passenger resisted as police arrested them on a public intoxication charge.Today, the FAA announced that the passenger is facing a $40,823 fine — one of eight drunk and disorderly passenger fines in the latest round-up from the agency for a combined total of $161,823.Federal regulations prohibit drinking alcohol on a plane that was not served by a flight attendant, and it is a federal crime to interfere with the flight crew. Passengers have 30 days to respond once they have been notified of the FAA's decision.Another passenger, a man who flew on Delta, faces a $24,000 fine after crew observed him to be intoxicated and said that he told them he had been drinking at the Fort Meyers airport before the flight to Detroit, according to the FAA. The agency said he refused to wear a mask, menaced a female crew member, and was confined to the last row where another crew member guarded him as the flight was diverted to Atlanta."This is America. This is free speech. What don't you understand?" he yelled, per the FAA.On a JetBlue flight from New York to Ecuador, the FAA said a man refused to wear a mask and peed on the lavatory floor after drinking alcohol he brought on board. That flight was diverted to Fort Lauderdale to remove the man, who now faces a $17,000 fine.When a Delta flight attendant approached a woman for a second time to tell her she could not drink the mini-bottles she had brought on board, the woman proceeded to drink a bottle in front of the attendant and started filming the attendant with her phone, the FAA said. The San Francisco-to-Atlanta flight was diverted to Las Vegas, where the woman was removed. She now faces a $16,000 fine.There have been more than 5,000 unruly passenger incidents reported to the FAA in 2021, of which nearly 300 were related to alcohol and intoxication. More than 100 incidents this year have involved charges of physical assault, and the total penalties for 2021 now top $1.3 million.The FAA can only issue civil fines, but the agency previously said it has referred 37 of the "most egregious" cases to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for criminal prosecution for possible jail time.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 22nd, 2021

NASA is pushing its human moon landing back to 2025, and its top official worries China will beat the US there

Now that Blue Origin's lawsuit against NASA is over, the agency can work with SpaceX to build its next human moon lander. But it will take a while. An illustration of SpaceX's Starship as a lander carrying NASA astronauts to the moon. SpaceX NASA said Tuesday that it won't land astronauts on the moon by 2024, as previously planned. Now the goal is 2025. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson partially blamed Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin for the delay. Nelson also expressed concerns that China could put astronauts on the moon before the US. NASA is officially pushing back the timeline for its return to the moon.The agency had been saying for years that it planned to put boots back on the lunar surface by 2024. But on Tuesday, its leaders finally admitted that timeline was unrealistic. Now, NASA aims to send astronauts to the moon on a SpaceX lander no earlier than 2025.The agency also announced a nearly 39% increase in the cost of the program, bumping the previous $6.7 billion budget to a new estimate of $9.3 billion. That sum doesn't include the actual astronaut landing - just the development of the rockets and two test flights leading up to it. The Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft, completely stacked at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, October 21, 2021. NASA When NASA does attempt to land astronauts on the moon - for the first time since 1972 - it plans to first launch them to space aboard its own Space Launch System rocket, which will then carry them to the moon. After that, the plan calls for NASA's Orion spaceship to rendezvous with SpaceX's Starship megarocket in orbit around the moon, so that the astronauts can climb aboard their lander.But that's just the first step in the much larger program NASA calls "Artemis." Long-term, it involves building a moon-orbiting space station, establishing permanent facilities on the lunar surface, and eventually using this lunar base to send astronauts on to Mars. The agency aims to launch the first elements of its lunar space station, called Gateway, in 2024. NASA officials said Tuesday that the moon-landing delay does not affect the schedule for those larger projects.Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX, previously said that the Trump administration's goal of landing humans on the moon by 2024 was "doable." Former NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine agreed. But current NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said on Tuesday that timeline was "not grounded in technical feasibility," and that Congress has not given NASA enough money to move quickly.Nelson also partially blamed the delay on Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos' rocket company. In April, Blue Origin joined competitor Dynetics to file a protest against NASA, alleging that the agency's decision to award the lunar-lander contract to SpaceX was "flawed." When the US Government Accountability Office denied that protest, Blue Origin sued NASA. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson at the 36th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado, August 23, 2021. NASA/Bill Ingalls Standard procedure required that NASA and SpaceX stop working on their lunar lander while the protest and lawsuit progressed. But on Thursday, a federal judge ruled against Blue Origin, effectively ending the lawsuit. Now work on the lunar Starship can resume."Our teams need time to speak now with SpaceX about the human landing system. We've lost nearly seven months in litigation and that likely has pushed the first human landing, likely, to no earlier than 2025," Nelson said in a press conference on Tuesday. Jeff Bezos, who founded Blue Origin in 2000. MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images Nelson wasn't the first to say that a 2024 moon landing was unrealistic, though. Industry experts have been saying the same for years, and an August report from the NASA Office of the Inspector General said the timeline was "not feasible.""We are going to be as aggressive as we can be in a safe and technically feasible way," Nelson said.China could beat the US to the moon Taikonauts salute in a video call from aboard China's space station. Yue Yuewei/Xinhua via AP Before NASA can put astronauts on the moon again, it must still finish testing its Space Launch System and then send it into space. The rocket and its Orion spaceship are scheduled to fly around the moon without a crew for the first time in February.After that, NASA is planning a similar flight around the moon with astronauts on board. That mission was previously scheduled for April 2023, but Nelson said Tuesday that the agency now plans to launch it in May 2024.At some point, SpaceX must also land Starship on the moon without a crew in order to show that it can safely carry astronauts.While all that's happening, Nelson said, it's possible China will make put its own astronauts (called taikonauts) on the moon first. The Long March-5B Y2 rocket, carrying the core module of China's space station, sits at the launch pad, April 23, 2021. cnsphoto/Reuters "The Chinese space program is increasingly capable of landing Chinese taikonauts much, much earlier than originally expected," he said.Already this year, China launched the first module of its own space station and has flown two taikonaut crews to it. China's space agency also landed a rover on Mars in February, with plans to eventually bring samples back to Earth. China and Russia also unveiled plans for their own lunar base with a moon-orbiting space station.However, China has not announced any plans to send taikonauts to the lunar surface this decade."We have every reason to believe that we have a competitor, a very aggressive competitor, in the Chinese going back to the moon with taikonauts. And it's the position of NASA and, I believe, the United States government that we want to be there first," Nelson said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 9th, 2021

Watch SpaceX bring 4 astronauts back to Earth from the space station. They"re set to splash into the ocean Monday night.

The Crew Dragon spaceship has a broken toilet, but it can still carry astronauts around Earth, through its atmosphere, and into the ocean. The Crew-2 astronauts pose during a training session at the SpaceX training facility in Hawthorne, California. SpaceX SpaceX is flying four astronauts from the International Space Station back to Earth on Monday. SpaceX launched NASA's Crew-2 mission in April, so the astronauts have served a full ISS shift. The Crew Dragon spaceship is set to plummet through the atmosphere to an ocean splashdown. SpaceX is set to complete its second full astronaut mission for NASA on Monday, when four astronauts will ride the company's Crew Dragon spaceship from the International Space Station (ISS), through Earth's atmosphere, to an ocean splashdown.SpaceX launched the NASA mission, called Crew-2, to the ISS in April, carrying astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur of NASA, Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency. They flew on the same Crew Dragon capsule, Endeavour, that carried SpaceX's first crewed test flight to the ISS in 2020. Crew Dragon Endeavour shortly before undocking from the International Space Station on November 8, 2021, as seen on NASA's livestream. NASA The Crew-2 astronauts have been on the space station for six months, conducting spacewalks, doing maintenance, and running science experiments, including growing hot chilis in space. Now their shift is over and they're once again sealed in the Endeavour spaceship.The capsule undocked from the ISS at 2:05 p.m. ET, firing its thrusters to back away from the station. If everything goes as planned, Endeavour will orbit Earth for about eight hours, lining up with its pre-established landing spot in the Gulf of Mexico. Then Endeavour will fire its thrusters to push itself into a fall back to Earth, plow through the atmosphere, release parachutes, and splash down off the coast of Pensacola, Florida at 10:33 p.m. ET.Watch the return trip live via NASA's broadcast, below.Unlike the astronauts who flew aboard Crew Dragon before them, Kimbrough, McArthur, Hoshide, and Pesquet will wear diapers during their return journey. That's because the astronauts recently discovered a leak in the spaceship's toilet system. SpaceX executives said the company fixed the issue for future flights, but can't fix Endeavour's toilet until the spaceship is back on Earth. Crew Dragon Endeavour parachutes into the Gulf of Mexico with astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley on board, August 2, 2020. NASA/Bill Ingalls SpaceX is set to launch its next mission, Crew-3, on Wednesday at 9:03 p.m. ET, aboard a different Crew Dragon capsule. Those four astronauts - NASA's Tom Marshburn, Raja Chari, and Kayla Barron, along with ESA's Matthias Maurer - will replace Crew-2 on the ISS.They were originally supposed to launch on Halloween, but their mission was delayed by weather and a minor medical issue with one of the astronauts. NASA has not disclosed details about the medical issue or which astronaut was affected, though the agency noted that the issue was not an emergency and not COVID-19-related. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 8th, 2021

I work in set props and am the daughter of Martin Scorsese. The way movies are made now is broken.

"I lost a friend ... the father of two small children, who fell asleep behind the wheel after pulling too many hours on set," Cathy Scorsese says. Cathy Scorsese. Courtesy of Cathy Scorsese Cathy Scorsese has worked in props for "The Departed," "The Sopranos," and other films and TV shows. The daughter of Martin Scorsese is well versed in on-set firearm safety. She talks about the "Rust" incident and what needs to change, as told to the freelancer Jenny Powers. This as-told-to essay is based on a transcribed conversation with Cathy Scorsese, a 55-year-old prop master and the daughter of the director Martin Scorsese, about her career. It has been edited for length and clarity.I was only 8 years old when I accompanied my father, Marty Scorsese, to the New York Film Festival's opening night screening of his film "Mean Streets" at Lincoln Center. It was 1973, and I can still vividly recall our conversation outside the theater after the showing let out. Cathy and Martin Scorsese. Courtesy of Cathy Scorsese My father kneeled down on the sidewalk next to me so that we'd be eye to eye and asked what I'd thought of the film. I didn't say much, but then he said, "You got any questions?" and I found myself blurting out, "How did they get all the blood to work like that and look so real?"I should have known then one day I'd work in props. I was in my mid-20s when I first got the opportunity to shadow the premier prop master Jim Mazzola on the job and begin learning the ins and outs of the prop businessIt was Jim who sent me to take a course on the use of theatrical firearms led by two prominent industry armorers to ensure I learned on-set safety from the best and built my confidence handling firearms.Soon after, I became a member of New York's IATSE Local 52, the motion-picture studio-mechanics union, where I had to exhibit a knowledge of firearm safety to earn my union card. As the years went on, my firearms-safety education, both on the job and in a classroom setting, continuedIn 2004, while working on "The Aviator," I was required to take a series of classes and pass a test in order to join Los Angeles' Local 44, the professional association for those in the entertainment industry, and earn my Occupational Safety and Health Administration passport.I've spent 30 years in the business, and it's fair to say that safety has been drilled into me like a reflex, which is a good thing because throughout my career, I've worked in props on some firepower-heavy sets, such as "Casino," "The Departed," "The Sopranos," and "Boardwalk Empire." Firearms-safety training isn't just textbook knowledge. It's often put into use on a regular basis, and for many of us who work on gun-heavy productions, it's a matter of course.Because of the tragedy on the set of 'Rust,' this is a hot-button topic for me and my industry colleagues right now Our online industry message boards have been blowing up discussing how this could have possibly happened when the chain of custody on set for firearms is so specific and strict. The number of violations that took place to result in a death and an injury like this is beyond our comprehension.Between this tragedy and our union's recent contract negotiations with the studios, change is coming for sure. It has to.I worked with Alec Baldwin on the set of 'The Departed' and 'The Aviator'Alec is a good human being, and it's written all over his face how distraught he is. It's awful, but in addition to his role as an actor, he's also wearing the producer hat in this case. Amid the talk of hiring a nonunion crew and then pushing them beyond their limits and cutting corners to try and save money, it seems they screwed up pretty badly. For years, I've been saying there's got to be a better way to make movies, and everybody's attitude is, "Well, if it ain't broke, don't fix it," but it is broke. It's very broken, as a matter of fact. We are understaffed and overworked Prop departments are notorious for being the smallest on set and are often asked to cut down on manpower. Everyone, regardless of department, is overworked. We all work crazy hours for weeks and sometimes months at a time, and it's hell on our bodies, our minds, our relationships, and our lives. I lost a friend, a 39-year-old grip, the father of two small children, who fell asleep behind the wheel after pulling too many hours on set and wound up crashing. I myself have fallen asleep at the wheel after too long a shift, but luckily it didn't result in an accident.When I was coming up the industry ranks, people would always say, "If you don't like it, there's somebody right behind you who will take your job," and that's the philosophy we lived by. But you know what: I'm calling BS. We're trained professionals, and if that's the attitude of producers, then they shouldn't be producing.The overall safety and the well-being of the crew should be a production's No. 1 priority, not saving a few bucks here and there There are plenty of good and decent producers out there, and all they have to do is make the schedule and turn-around times longer and the days shorter. They could even split crews to give people adequate rest, which would also create more jobs. People all over the world make movies that are beautiful and brilliant without working the kind of cruel hours we're forced to. Why is it in America that we feel the need to make a movie in six weeks when it should take 10 to 12? To save money because some executive in an office has decided this is how much it should cost? That's not the real cost. The real cost is coming at the expense and the well-being of everyone involved in the production. The suits upstairs just don't get it. If you ask me, once Hollywood got taken over by the executives, it went straight down the toilet. Since last week's tragedy, there's been a recent push to ban firing weapons on set The way I see it, the film industry has been around for more than 100 years, and during that time millions and millions of rounds of ammunition have been shot - and as professionals, our track record for safety is very good. This is why I'm still on the fence about whether to allow firing weapons on set, but I'm willing to hear the pros and cons.For now, when I'm working on set, I'll continue to do what I've been trained to unless someone tells me to add additional safety steps as a precaution - which I'm more than happy to do because one fatality, in my opinion, is one too many. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytNov 2nd, 2021

See inside Jimmy Buffett"s Margaritaville"s $300 million NYC resort with a heated rooftop swimming pool, tiki bars, and plenty of tropical decor

Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville empire is rapidly expanding with plans to open 50 resorts within 3 years as the hotel brand becomes the fastest growing in the US. Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville empire is rapidly expanding with plans to open 50 resorts within 3 years. The CEO of Margaritaville Holdings says the company is the "fastest-growing hotel brand" in the US. Take a look inside one of its latest hotels in New York, Margaritaville Resort Times Square. If you're looking for a tropical getaway, put your passports away and redirect your flight to New York City. Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider For the past three months, one of the latest additions to New York's skyline has been enticing guests to "waste away again" while "watching the sun bake." The Statue of Liberty recreation in the Margaritaville Restaurant. Brittany Chang/Insider That's right, Margaritaville: In July, Jimmy Buffett's themed empire expanded its portfolio into New York with one of its latest hotels, Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider New York City definitely isn't known for the laid-back tropical lifestyle Margaritaville wants to represent. The 5 O’Clock Somewhere bar. Brittany Chang/Insider But according to John Cohlan, CEO of Margaritaville Holdings, that's the point. Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider "New York is certainly a tourist destination and it's a place where people from all over the world come to sightsee," Cohlan told Insider. "The idea was you ought to be able to vacation in New York as well." A room inside Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider The recent Times Square location is just one property in Margaritaville's greater expansion plan: In the next three years, the brand wants to open 50 resorts. Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider "I would think we've got to be the fastest-growing hotel brand in the country," Cohlan said. "We're expanding very very rapidly." The License to Chill bar. Brittany Chang/Insider The Margaritaville company first started over 20 years ago on the heels of Buffett's hit song. Margaritaville merchandise. Brittany Chang/Insider And since then, the brand has grown into a hospitality giant that operates resorts, vacation homes, timeshares, senior living communities, restaurants, and bars. The 5 O’Clock Somewhere bar. Brittany Chang/Insider It also recently began venturing into the increasingly popular RV industry with branded RV resorts, which has so far been a massive success, Jim Wiseman, the president of development at Camp Margaritaville, previously told Insider. The Landshark Bar and Grill. Brittany Chang/Insider Source: Insider Besides the New York hotel, Margaritaville has opened multiple properties in 2021 ... The two-floor Margaritaville Restaurant. Brittany Chang/Insider ... including a resort and water park in Nassau, Bahamas, and a hotel in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. The two-floor Margaritaville Restaurant. Brittany Chang/Insider Let's take a closer look inside Margaritaville's Times Square outpost, an over $300 million bet that tourism will soon come flocking back to New York. The two-floor Margaritaville Restaurant. Brittany Chang/Insider Cohlan calls the hotel an "unplugged haven in the middle of your New York experience." The outdoor pool. Brittany Chang/Insider COVID-19 pushed the hotel's debut from late-2020 to July 2021 after construction was halted for two weeks at the start of the pandemic, Kori Yoran, the general manager of Margaritaville Resort Times Square, told Insider during a tour of the hotel. The two-floor Margaritaville Restaurant. Brittany Chang/Insider And now, the 32-floor, 234-room hotel stands beside some tourist favorites, including Times Square, Bryant Park, and Broadway theaters. The 5 O’Clock Somewhere bar. Brittany Chang/Insider As expected, the tropical branding is strong throughout the "resort." Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider There's a reminder of Margaritaville and its tropical getaway theme everywhere you look, whether it be in the hotel's artwork … The artwork inside Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider … product packaging … Margaritaville merchandise. Brittany Chang/Insider … or restaurant details. The two-floor Margaritaville Restaurant. Brittany Chang/Insider The hotel rooms also reflect this laidback lifestyle with their turquoise, soft wood, and white decor and accents. A room inside Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider Even the room slippers - which have been replaced by soft white flip-flops - serve as another reminder of the tropical themes. A room inside Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider The windows provide a view of the towering New York City skyline, but if the curtains were closed, the room could've belonged in a vacation timeshare. A room inside Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider "When you walk in here, you're instantly transported to a different state," Yoran said. "If you don't look outside, you're like, 'oh, there's obviously a beach and water.'" A room inside Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider However, there are still reminders of the hotel's location speckled throughout the building, like this New Yorker magazine cover shown below. A room inside Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider And inside the two-floor, 468-seat Margaritaville Restaurant, there's a not-so-subtle 32-foot recreation of the Statue of Liberty holding a glass. The Statue of Liberty recreation in the Margaritaville Restaurant. Brittany Chang/Insider Besides the eponymous restaurant, there are four other dining and bar options, including the rooftop "5 O'Clock Somewhere" bar … The 5 O’Clock Somewhere bar. Brittany Chang/Insider … with an outdoor patio that has views of the One Times Square ball that drops every January 1. The 5 O’Clock Somewhere bar. Brittany Chang/Insider There’s also an outdoor pool with views of the, well, office buildings across the street. The pool at Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider It may not be a beach, but at least it's heated. The pool at Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider The pool is located at the foot of the 110-seat Landshark Bar and Grill, which is lined with plenty of TV screens for sports viewings. The Landshark Bar and Grill. Brittany Chang/Insider But if you'd rather hang out at a bar, there's also the License to Chill, a fifth-floor, 75-seat watering hole with an outdoor patio. The License to Chill bar. Brittany Chang/Insider The hotel even has meeting rooms that are patiently awaiting the greater return of corporate travel. A conference room inside the hotel. Brittany Chang/Insider You might not associate work with Margaritaville, but according to Cohlan, the brand's New York and Nashville locations see some corporate travelers. The outside patio of the 5 O’Clock Somewhere bar. Brittany Chang/Insider As Koran puts it, the New York hotel is a "casual-luxe corporate travel property." The two-floor Margaritaville Restaurant. Brittany Chang/Insider The slow return of corporate travel aside, Margaritaville has seen plenty of business as leisure travel rapidly recovers. The door leading into a room inside Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider "I think [leisure travel] came back much stronger than people think, so our business has just performed remarkably well," Cohlan said. "I wouldn't be candid with you if I didn't tell you it was surprising to me." The License to Chill bar. Brittany Chang/Insider So far, the Times Square hotel has been seeing about 40% occupancy, Yoran said. A room inside Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider And lately, every room from Thursday through Sunday has been booked out, he added. A room inside Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider Like other local hotels, Margaritaville Resort Times Square is banking on the return of corporate travel for increased occupancy during the weekdays. The Margaritaville Resort Times Square building. Brittany Chang/Insider But until then, this "slice of paradise in the concrete jungle," according to Koran, will continue catering to its weekend vacationers and post-work happy hour drinkers. A room inside Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider "Margaritaville really stands for an emotion because it was in the culture for a very long time before there was a product," Cohlan said. "Its product was an emotion. 'Margaritaville, that's paradise. That's where we all want to go.'" The Statue of Liberty recreation in the Margaritaville Restaurant. Brittany Chang/Insider Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytOct 31st, 2021

See inside Jimmy Buffet"s Margaritaville"s $300 million NYC resort with a heated rooftop swimming pool, tiki bars, and plenty of tropical decor

Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville empire is rapidly expanding with plans to open 50 resorts within 3 years as the hotel brand becomes the fastest growing in the US. Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville empire is rapidly expanding with plans to open 50 resorts within 3 years. The CEO of Margaritaville Holdings says the company is the "fastest-growing hotel brand" in the US. Take a look inside one of its latest hotels in New York, Margaritaville Resort Times Square. If you're looking for a tropical getaway, put your passports away and redirect your flight to New York City. Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider For the past three months, one of the latest additions to New York's skyline has been enticing guests to "waste away again" while "watching the sun bake." The Statue of Liberty recreation in the Margaritaville Restaurant. Brittany Chang/Insider That's right, Margaritaville: In July, Jimmy Buffet's themed empire expanded its portfolio into New York with one of its latest hotels, Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider New York City definitely isn't known for the laid-back tropical lifestyle Margaritaville wants to represent. The 5 O’Clock Somewhere bar. Brittany Chang/Insider But according to John Cohlan, CEO of Margaritaville Holdings, that's the point. Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider "New York is certainly a tourist destination and it's a place where people from all over the world come to sightsee," Cohlan told Insider. "The idea was you ought to be able to vacation in New York as well." A room inside Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider The recent Times Square location is just one property in Margaritaville's greater expansion plan: In the next three years, the brand wants to open 50 resorts. Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider "I would think we've got to be the fastest-growing hotel brand in the country," Cohlan said. "We're expanding very very rapidly." The License to Chill bar. Brittany Chang/Insider The Margaritaville company first started over 20 years ago on the heels of Buffett's hit song. Margaritaville merchandise. Brittany Chang/Insider And since then, the brand has grown into a hospitality giant that operates resorts, vacation homes, timeshares, senior living communities, restaurants, and bars. The 5 O’Clock Somewhere bar. Brittany Chang/Insider It also recently began venturing into the increasingly popular RV industry with branded RV resorts, which has so far been a massive success, Jim Wiseman, the president of development at Camp Margaritaville, previously told Insider. The Landshark Bar and Grill. Brittany Chang/Insider Source: Insider Besides the New York hotel, Margaritaville has opened multiple properties in 2021 ... The two-floor Margaritaville Restaurant. Brittany Chang/Insider ... including a resort and water park in Nassau, Bahamas, and a hotel in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. The two-floor Margaritaville Restaurant. Brittany Chang/Insider Let's take a closer look inside Margaritaville's Times Square outpost, an over $300 million bet that tourism will soon come flocking back to New York. The two-floor Margaritaville Restaurant. Brittany Chang/Insider Cohlan calls the hotel an "unplugged haven in the middle of your New York experience." The outdoor pool. Brittany Chang/Insider COVID-19 pushed the hotel's debut from late-2020 to July 2021 after construction was halted for two weeks at the start of the pandemic, Kori Yoran, the general manager of Margaritaville Resort Times Square, told Insider during a tour of the hotel. The two-floor Margaritaville Restaurant. Brittany Chang/Insider And now, the 32-floor, 234-room hotel stands beside some tourist favorites, including Times Square, Bryant Park, and Broadway theaters. The 5 O’Clock Somewhere bar. Brittany Chang/Insider As expected, the tropical branding is strong throughout the "resort." Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider There's a reminder of Margaritaville and its tropical getaway theme everywhere you look, whether it be in the hotel's artwork … The artwork inside Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider … product packaging … Margaritaville merchandise. Brittany Chang/Insider … or restaurant details. The two-floor Margaritaville Restaurant. Brittany Chang/Insider The hotel rooms also reflect this laidback lifestyle with their turquoise, soft wood, and white decor and accents. A room inside Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider Even the room slippers - which have been replaced by soft white flip-flops - serve as another reminder of the tropical themes. A room inside Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider The windows provide a view of the towering New York City skyline, but if the curtains were closed, the room could've belonged in a vacation timeshare. A room inside Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider "When you walk in here, you're instantly transported to a different state," Yoran said. "If you don't look outside, you're like, 'oh, there's obviously a beach and water.'" A room inside Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider However, there are still reminders of the hotel's location speckled throughout the building, like this New Yorker magazine cover shown below. A room inside Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider And inside the two-floor, 468-seat Margaritaville Restaurant, there's a not-so-subtle 32-foot recreation of the Statue of Liberty holding a glass. The Statue of Liberty recreation in the Margaritaville Restaurant. Brittany Chang/Insider Besides the eponymous restaurant, there are four other dining and bar options, including the rooftop "5 O'Clock Somewhere" bar … The 5 O’Clock Somewhere bar. Brittany Chang/Insider … with an outdoor patio that has views of the One Times Square ball that drops every January 1. The 5 O’Clock Somewhere bar. Brittany Chang/Insider There’s also an outdoor pool with views of the, well, office buildings across the street. The pool at Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider It may not be a beach, but at least it's heated. The pool at Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider The pool is located at the foot of the 110-seat Landshark Bar and Grill, which is lined with plenty of TV screens for sports viewings. The Landshark Bar and Grill. Brittany Chang/Insider But if you'd rather hang out at a bar, there's also the License to Chill, a fifth-floor, 75-seat watering hole with an outdoor patio. The License to Chill bar. Brittany Chang/Insider The hotel even has meeting rooms that are patiently awaiting the greater return of corporate travel. A conference room inside the hotel. Brittany Chang/Insider You might not associate work with Margaritaville, but according to Cohlan, the brand's New York and Nashville locations see some corporate travelers. The outside patio of the 5 O’Clock Somewhere bar. Brittany Chang/Insider As Koran puts it, the New York hotel is a "casual-luxe corporate travel property." The two-floor Margaritaville Restaurant. Brittany Chang/Insider The slow return of corporate travel aside, Margaritaville has seen plenty of business as leisure travel rapidly recovers. The door leading into a room inside Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider "I think [leisure travel] came back much stronger than people think, so our business has just performed remarkably well," Cohlan said. "I wouldn't be candid with you if I didn't tell you it was surprising to me." The License to Chill bar. Brittany Chang/Insider So far, the Times Square hotel has been seeing about 40% occupancy, Yoran said. A room inside Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider And lately, every room from Thursday through Sunday has been booked out, he added. A room inside Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider Like other local hotels, Margaritaville Resort Times Square is banking on the return of corporate travel for increased occupancy during the weekdays. The Margaritaville Resort Times Square building. Brittany Chang/Insider But until then, this "slice of paradise in the concrete jungle," according to Koran, will continue catering to its weekend vacationers and post-work happy hour drinkers. A room inside Margaritaville Resort Times Square. Brittany Chang/Insider "Margaritaville really stands for an emotion because it was in the culture for a very long time before there was a product," Cohlan said. "Its product was an emotion. 'Margaritaville, that's paradise. That's where we all want to go.'" The Statue of Liberty recreation in the Margaritaville Restaurant. Brittany Chang/Insider Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 31st, 2021

SpaceX and NASA delay crewed space flight planned for Halloween due to weather

SpaceX, the rocket company founded by Elon Musk, has been shuttling NASA astronauts to and from the ISS for six-month shifts. NASA astronaut and SpaceX Crew-3 Commander Raja Chari, in his spacesuit during a training session at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, August 30, 2021. SpaceX SpaceX and NASA have delayed the launch its fourth NASA astronaut crew to the International Space Station until Wednesday, citing a storm system over the Northeast. The fourth crewed flight had been set to launch on Halloween but is now slated for a Wednesday blast off. In the weeks after the Crew-3 arrival at the ISS, the SpaceX mission currently there will return to Earth. SpaceX and NASA have pushed back their planned launch of a fourth crew of astronauts to the International Space Station because of a large Atlantic Ocean storm pummeling the East Coast with strong winds and large waves.The launch, originally set to send a rocket called Endurance streaking above the Florida skies on Halloween, is now slated for Wednesday, the company and NASA announced Saturday."NASA and SpaceX now are targeting 1:10 a.m. EDT Wednesday, Nov. 3, for the agency's Crew-3 launch to the International Space Station due to a large storm system meandering across the Ohio Valley and through northeastern United States this weekend, elevating winds and waves in the Atlantic Ocean," NASA said."Weather conditions along the ascent corridor are expected to improve for a Nov. 3 launch attempt," the space agency added.-NASA Commercial Crew (@Commercial_Crew) October 30, 2021 SpaceX, the rocket company founded by Elon Musk, has been shuttling NASA astronauts to and from the ISS for six-month shifts. The crews have also included astronauts from the space agencies of Europe and Japan.The upcoming mission, called Crew-3, consists of NASA astronauts Tom Marshburn, Raja Chari, and Kayla Barron, as well as European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Matthias Maurer.If all goes according to plan, Endurance will blast off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center Wednesday and the astronauts will spend 24 hours enjoying the views and preparing for arrival as the spaceship lines up with the ISS.Astronauts on the Crew Dragon and the ISS will then conduct a nearly two-hour sealing and leak-checking process before opening the hatch that connects the station to the spaceship. Then Crew-3 will float into the space station. The seven people currently on the ISS will likely crowd around to greet them - a reunion that's often full of broad smiles and upside-down hugs.In the weeks after the Crew-3 arrival, the SpaceX mission that's currently on the ISS, Crew-2, will return to Earth. The exact date for their return journey has not yet been announced.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 30th, 2021