zoom Poor container shipping freight levels and the countdown to the reformation of alliances in March of 2017 have pre-empted any mass invasion of new capacity in the Asia-East Coast North America (ECNA) trade, thus further drift of cargo from a West Coast routing to an East Coast carriage will be gradual, according to shipping consultancy Drewry.After the widened Panama Canal commenced operation, the new set of locks saw the first Neopanamax vessel, the 10,000 TEU MOL Benefactor, perform a commercial transit through the canal en route for a berth slot at an East Coast port of New York.Assigned to the G6’s newly formed NYX service, the vessel, which reportedly paid a toll fee of some USD 830,000, became the largest containership that the port of New York handled in its history.During the course of the third quarter, the G6 and CKYHE alliances will have added 30 Neopanamax vessels to the Asia-US East Coast trade routing via Panama.“Without doubt, the ability of the canal to handle much larger ships is a groundbreaking event and heralds a new era in which a large swathe of US importers will have a much wider choice of options routing goods from the Far East,” Drewry said.However, according to Drewry, it will not all change overnight as the migration of seaborne cargo from the West Coast to the East Coast will continue to be a steady evolution.Cargo liftings during the first few months of 2016 have been heavily skewed by events which took place in the US West Coast ports in early 2015, following the breakdown of talks between management and unions to agree a new labour contract.After having risen year-on-year by 1.7% in the first quarter of 2016, Asian exports to ECNA subsequently witnessed two lean months, shrinking by 3.9% in April and by 1.1% in May.The American market has become a difficult one to predict, Drewry said, and, while demand for East Coast space improved from mid-May onwards, it is impossible to say with any conviction whether this year’s peak season is going to be a strong one or not.
A TRANSATLANTIC FLIGHT has made an unscheduled emergency landing at Dublin Airport this afternoon.The US Airways flight 799, from Amsterdam to Philadelphia, suffered an unspecified technical fault shortly after clearing Irish airspace on its route to the United States.Comments broadcast on air traffic control radio suggested that a problem had emerged with technical instrumentation in the cockpit.Immediate ground assistance was not required for the aircraft upon its arrival.Scheduled arrivals and departures were expected to be pushed back for a few minutes due to the unscheduled arrival on the runway.
Astronaut sleeping in space. Source: Coconut Science LabAFTER A LONG days work there is nothing anyone likes more than a good night’s sleep, however, this can be a problem for many astronauts in space.A study published in The Lancet shows that sleep deprivation is a common problem for astronauts.Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School and the University of Colorado studied the sleep patterns of 64 astronauts on 80 Shuttle missions and 21 astronauts aboard International Space Station (ISS) missions before, during, and after spaceflight.In total, they recorded more than 4000 nights of sleep on Earth and more than 4200 in space.Sleep time The research shows that despite NASA scheduling 8·5 hours of sleep per night for crew members in spaceflight, the average duration of sleep during spaceflight was just under six hours on shuttle missions and just over six hours on ISS missions.The European Space Agency says that sleeping in space is somewhat different than on Earth: “There is no up or down, and everything is weightless. Astronauts can attach their sleeping bags to a wall or a ceiling, and sleep anywhere as long as they don’t float around and bump into something.”The spaceflight environment, where the sun rises and sets every 90 minutes, is particularly harsh for sleep, finds the report.Apollo astronauts cited light, noise, and the cooling systems in spacesuits as contributing factors to their poor sleep. However, sleep disturbances continue to occur in modern spaceflight despite quiet and dark ‘sleep stations’ installed on the ISS (shown here by Chris Hadfield).Many leading scientists speculate that microgravity itself may be to blame for sleep deprivation.Here astronaut Chris Hadfield explains how sleeping works on the ISS: Source: CoconutScienceLab/YouTubeJust 12% of sleep episodes monitored on shuttle missions and 24% on ISS missions lasted 7 hours or more, as compared with 42% and 50%, respectively, in a post-flight data when most astronauts slept at home.The research also showed that the astronauts were also losing sleep in the run up to their launches, averaging less than 6·5 hours sleep per night during training.The study showed that the use of sleeping medication was pervasive amongst astronauts in space, with many reporting to use zolpidem and zaleplon during spaceflight.Sleeping tabletsSleep medication use was reported by three quarters of ISS crew members at some point during their time on the space station, and by more than three quarters (78%) of shuttle-mission crew members. Sleep medication was used on more than half (52%) of nights in shuttle missions.“The ability for a crew member to optimally perform if awakened from sleep by an emergency alarm may be jeopardized by the use of sleep-promoting pharmaceuticals,” said Dr Laura K. Barger from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School.Dr Charles Czeisler from Harvard and Dr Mathias Basner from the University of Pennsylvania both state that if further explorations to the moon, Mars and beyond are to be considered then more needs to be done to promote sleep during spaceflight and to ensure that the psychological and physical effects are understood.Read: Astronauts’ hearts grow rounder in space, finds study>Read: So, what are the chances we’ll see an Irishman (or anybody) head to Mars?>