Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
NEW YORK (AP) — Travelers can expect airports to be busier and planes to be fuller than ever this Thanksgiving. And fares will be more expensive.
That’s the outlook from the main trade group representing U.S. airlines two weeks ahead of the holiday.
Airlines for America expects nearly 24 million travelers to fly from Friday, Nov. 16, through Tuesday, Nov. 27. That’s up narrowly from a year earlier. Last year’s tally was flat from 2010. But traffic on the nation’s airlines is still 10 percent below the peak travel years of 2006 and 2007.
For those traveling on the busiest days around Thanksgiving, planes are expected to be close to 90 percent full, the trade group says. That would be a record for the holiday. Sunday, Nov. 25 is projected as the busiest travel day, followed by Wednesday, Nov. 21 and Monday, Nov. 26.
Flights will be packed tighter because there are fewer of them. Airlines have been reducing flights to better match demand, which in turn allows them to raise prices. Domestic ticket prices are up 4 percent from 2011, according to the group.
Cutting flights also allows airlines to save on fuel, often their biggest expense.
Collectively, U.S. airlines’ revenue rose 5.6 percent in the first nine months of this year. But fuel costs rose by 6.2 percent, cutting the amount of money earned per passenger. On average, the ten largest U.S. airlines made just 50 cents for every passenger they flew from January through September, Airlines for America said.
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins
On December 28, 2013, Expedition 38 crew member Mike Hopkins participating in the second of two space walks to replace a degraded pump module on the International Space Station. (NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio is reflected in his helmet!)
The Soyuz TMA-10M
The Soyuz TMA-10M headed towards the International Space Station with crew members from Expedition 37 onboard.
40 years ago the Apollo 8 mission flew up to the moon, orbited it ten times and then returned to Earth. This picture was taken from that flight and shows the Earth as it seemingly rises in similar fashion to a sunrise.
Sunrise from Expedition 36
NASA Flight Engineer Karen L. Nyberg of Expedition 36 took this photo of the sun rising -- a sight they saw nearly 16 times per day due to the speed of the International Space Station's orbit around the earth.
A pair of NanoRacks CubeSats -- nanosattelite spacecrafts carrying experiments -- were launched by Expedition 38.