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August 11, 2019
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Go back to the enewsletter Raffles Singapores re

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterRaffles Singapore‘s reopening is planned for the second half of 2018. Since February 2017, the heritage hotel has embarked on a careful and sensitive phased restoration. Its reopening will see the introduction of new suite categories, lifestyle experiences and refreshed dining concepts.New suite categories For more than a century, Raffles Singapore has offered its guests all-suite accommodations. The restoration will update its suites with new amenities and technology while maintaining the colonial ambience and sense of space.When Raffles Singapore reopens, it will have three new suite categories: Residence Suites, Promenade Suites and Studio Suites. The total suite count increases from the existing 103 to 115.The new Residence Suites, comprising four one-bedroom and one two-bedroom suites, will be located in the Raffles Arcade and are named after famous local cinemas during the early- to mid-1900s: the Alhambra, Diamond, Marlborough, Odean and Theatre Royal Suites. This is in homage to the days when the neighbourhood was known as ‘The Place of Cinemas’.Nestled in the front-most corner of the Main Building are two new Promenade Suites that overlook Beach Road. A tribute to the late-1800s era when Raffles Singapore faced the beachfront, the suites will be named Lady Mountbatten Suite and Lady Sophia Suite, which were converted from existing boardrooms.Lady Mountbatten was the Countess of Burma and wife of Lord Louis Mountbatten who was the Earl of Burma, last Viceroy of India and also Southeast Asia’s Supreme Allied Commander during the Second World War. In September 1945, Lord Mountbatten was in Singapore to witness the surrender of the Japanese Forces.Lady Sophia was the wife of Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Modern Singapore, and for whom Raffles Hotel Singapore is named after.The Studio Suites that are being added aim to complement the array of suites in the Main Building, enveloped by the colonial charm of the Grand Lobby.Raffles Singapore will continue to provide existing suite categories including:Presidential SuitesGrand Hotel SuitesPalm Court SuitesCourtyard SuitesState Room Suites, formerly known as Raffles Inc. State Room Suites. The renaming reflects the conversion of the workspace into a parlour as well as the spaciousness of the suite.Raffles Arcade: A lifestyle destination for the community and SingaporeOnce reopened, the Raffles Arcade will showcase social spaces and lifestyle experiences. This includes a refreshed Raffles Gift Shop that will house a History Gallery to illustrate the heritage of Raffles Singapore. The Arcade will also be home to a brand-new Raffles Spa, a holistic sanctuary for hotel residents and the community to escape the bustle of the city.“The History Gallery exhibits the hotel’s heritage over the past 130 years, and highlights the role Raffles Singapore played as a landmark in the country, and also in the region,” explained Christian Westbeld, GM, Raffles Singapore. “We are confident the local community will enjoy the refreshed facilities within the arcade that would rejuvenate the experiences within our neighbourhood.”Signature dining experiences at RafflesSignature restaurants and bars since the 1900s, Long Bar, Tiffin Room and Writers Bar, will continue to be a part of Raffles Singapore dining experiences when the hotel reopens.Home of the Singapore Sling for over 100 years, the Long Bar’s plantation-inspired decor will be refreshed, and the famous Long Bar counter restored. Visitors and guests will be welcomed to continue the tradition of throwing peanuts on the floor as they sip on a chilled glass of Singapore Sling.A part of Raffles’ history since 1892, Tiffin Room will continue to serve up delectable North Indian cuisine. Offering authentic specialties served in Tiffin boxes, it will also present an interactive dining experience with tableside service by chefs, complete with freshly ground spices to enhance the occasion. The restored interior decor includes reinstating the wooden floorboards in Tiffin Room to bring back features from the early 1900s based on research by heritage consultants.Furthermore, the Afternoon Tea will now be served at the new lounge in the Grand Lobby, allowing guests to enjoy a quintessential Raffles dining experience amid the soft daylight streaming in from the skylight.Established as a tribute to famous writers that have come through the doors of Raffles Singapore over the years, Writers Bar will be expanded to a full bar and be the place for bespoke cocktails, elegance and intimate conversations.The restoration of Raffles Singapore is supported by award-winning interior designer Alexandra Champalimaud, who has worked on numerous restoration projects around the world.Phase Three of the restoration will commence on 13 December 2017, when the hotel will be fully closed. Raffles Gift Shop will move to a temporary location along Seah Street and remain open throughout.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

July 20, 2019
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Tensions surround release of new Rosetta comet data

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) DARMSTADT, GERMANY—The comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, which the Rosetta spacecraft is now orbiting, is by all accounts a fascinating chunk of dust and ice. This week, scientists using the spacecraft’s high-resolution camera presented some staggering images of the duck-shaped comet at a planetary science conference in Tucson, Arizona. They showed the first color images of the comet. They showed dust grains being ejected from the surface, arcs that could be traced back, presumably, to geysers of sublimating ice. And they showed brightness variations less than 10 centimeters apart—which could indicate that they have found sparkling bits of ice peeking through a black crust of dust.But Rosetta’s operator, the European Space Agency (ESA), has released none of these images to the public. Nor have any of these images been presented in Darmstadt, Germany, where scientists at ESA’s mission control are preparing to drop the Philae lander to the comet surface on Wednesday. Project scientist Matt Taylor was reduced to learning about the new results at the Arizona conference by thumbing through Twitter feeds on his phone.For the Rosetta mission, there is an explicit tension between satisfying the public with new discoveries and allowing scientists first crack at publishing papers based on their own hard-won data. “There is a tightrope there,” says Taylor, who’s based at ESA’s European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. But some ESA officials are worried that the principal investigators for the spacecraft’s 11 instruments are not releasing enough information. In particular, the camera team, led by principal investigator Holger Sierks, has come under special criticism for what some say is a stingy release policy. “It’s a family that’s fighting, and Holger is in the middle of it, because he holds the crown jewels,” says Mark McCaughrean, an ESA senior science adviser at ESTEC. 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Countrycenter_img Email Allowing scientists to withhold data for some period is not uncommon in planetary science. At NASA, a 6-month period is typical for principal investigator–led spacecraft, such as the MESSENGER mission to Mercury, says James Green, the director of NASA’s planetary science division in Washington, D.C. However, Green says, NASA headquarters can insist that the principal investigator release data for key media events. For larger strategic, or “flagship,” missions, NASA has tried to release data even faster. The Mars rovers, such as Curiosity, have put out images almost as immediately as they are gathered.ESA has a different structure from NASA’s. It relies much more on contributions from member-states, whereas NASA pays for most instrument development directly. On Rosetta, for example, ESA hasn’t paid for very much of the €100 million camera, called OSIRIS, and therefore has less control over how its data is disseminated. “It’s easier for [NASA] to negotiate [data release] because we’re paying the bills,” Green says, whereas ESA has to do it “by influence.”Prior to Rosetta’s launch in 2004, an embargo of 6 months was set for all the instrument teams. McCaughrean points out that mission documents also stipulate that instrument teams provide “adequate support” to ESA management in its communication efforts—but that term has been debated by the camera team. “I believe that [the OSIRIS camera team’s support] has by no means been adequate, and they believe it has,” McCaughrean says. “But they hold the images, and it’s a completely asymmetric relationship.”So far, OSIRIS has not released any images from its closest orbits at 10 kilometers above the comet. The vast majority of publicly released images have come from navigation cameras, engineering instruments that ESA management has more control over. OSIRIS has about five times better resolution than the navigation cameras.Sierks, of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Göttingen, Germany, feels that the OSIRIS team has already been providing a fair amount of data to the public—about one image every week. Each image his team puts out is better than anything that has ever been seen before in comet research, he says. Furthermore, he says other researchers, unaffiliated with the Rosetta team, have submitted papers based on these released images, while his team has been consumed with the daily task of planning the mission. After working on OSIRIS since 1997, Sierks feels that his team should get the first shot at using the data.“Let’s give us a chance of a half a year or so,” he says. He also feels that his team has been pressured to release more data than other instruments. “Of course there is more of a focus on our instrument,” which he calls “the eyes of the mission.”Another reason why Rosetta instrument teams have been slow to release information is that some of them have submitted papers to Science, which, upon acceptance, carries an embargo that forbids public discussion of specific results in the papers. But some ESA officials think that team members have become too fearful about disclosing everyday discoveries. Because of concerns over embargoes, the team has only reluctantly disclosed the dimensions and volume of the comet, for instance, and it has yet to publicly describe the comet’s albedo, or reflectivity.At a press briefing on Tuesday in Darmstadt, a reporter asked Fred Jansen, the project manager, if the Wednesday landing event would include any new images from Sierks’s OSIRIS camera. “We definitely intend to squeeze these out of him,” Jansen said. “There is an agreement that we’ll get pictures tomorrow.”To read more Rosetta coverage, visit our Rosetta collection page.last_img read more