Monthly Archives: Jan 2016

Remembering the Challenger

“The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted.”   –President Ronald Reagan

It’s one of those few moments in history that is burned into the memories of most people alive at the time.  30 years ago on a clear but cold Florida morning, the Space Shuttle Challenger lifted off with 6 NASA astronauts and one special crew member on board. The shuttle missions were fascinating on their own, but this mission carried Christa McAuliffe, a high school teacher from New Hampshire, who had become all our teacher.

As people paused their days and watched on television screens around the world, including school children from all over the country, millions witnessed what is still today one of the worst tragedies of the American Space Program.



 

The nation was stunned and horrified.  That day in January was also scheduled to be the President’s State of the Union address.  For the only time in modern history, the speech was cancelled.  Instead, then President Ronald Reagan spoke to a grieving nation, and closed his remarks with powerful words that will live on forever:

“The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives.  We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and ‘slipped the surly bonds of earth’ to ‘touch the face of God.’”

The President’s speech also issued a clear message to NASA, to the country, and to the world.  We would continue the important journey of space exploration.  There would be more shuttle flights, more missions, and indeed, there were.

The Space Shuttle fleet helped to broaden humankind’s exploration of space for three decades.  Cosmic Front: Space Shuttle on CuriosityStream has the dramatic story of all the triumphs and tragedies until the fleet’s final flight in 2011.

The U.S. Space Program is in a new phase, working to stay on the leading edge of scientific discovery.  CuriosityStream offers a substantial selection of programming about the past, present and future of space exploration.  Check out Curiosity Studios’ original documentary Mars: The Journey for an in depth look at efforts to land humans on the red planet.  And watch our original 13-part series Destination: Pluto about the New Horizons mission to explore the dwarf planet and the outer edges of deep space.

And as we look forward, we will always remember that clear but cold morning in Florida.

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A Bronze Age Time Capsule Plus Our Exclusive New Series

The fascinating Bronze Age gave us the first glimpse of urban civilization, particularly in the Mediterranean and Near East Societies.  And now, archaeologists have discovered what are thought to be the best-preserved Bronze Age dwellings ever found in Britain… giving us a closer look at everyday life in a Bronze Age village 3,000 years ago.

Archaeologists from the University of Cambridge detailed their findings this week.  They’ve unearthed the pristine, time capsule-like site in central England, some 80 miles north of London. 2 large, circular, wooden houses, built on a series of posts sunk into a river channel below, seemed to have collapsed in a fire and sunk into the water sometime between 1000-800 BC.  The water doused the flames, and layers of mud from the riverbed covered it all, preserving the structures and their extraordinary contents. Textiles, jewelry, food storage jars, spears and daggers, even a cooking pot with traces of food inside, were found completely intact. And the first human remains have just been unearthed, as well.  The archaeologists found a skull near the doorway of one of the houses, continuing to help weave the incredible story of what exactly happened there. Experts are calling it prehistoric archaeology in 3D, and say these findings will transform our understanding of the period.

The flourishing civilizations of the the Bronze Age gave history centuries of brilliance — the first developed writing systems, centralized local governments, the roots of diplomacy, and of course, the first use of metal for tools and weapons, including the new, durable bronze.



Premiering on CuriosityStream this week – an exclusive, new original series offering a deep dive into this extraordinary time in history.  Our three-part series takes an in-depth look at the rise, the impact, and the ultimate fall of the Bronze Age, with stunning visuals and expert insight that will put you right in the middle of history.

Watch here for a glimpse into each of the episodes:

The Rise of Civilization

Masters of Trade

Conquest and Collapse

Are you intrigued by the life of an archaeologist?  Are you dreaming of being a real life Indiana Jones?  Hear more about a day in the life of an archaeologist from CuriosityStream luminary Dr. Eric Cline here.

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#CuriosityTravels


I hope you’re enjoying a great start to 2016!

This past year has been quite a busy one for CuriosityStream and our small, hardworking team.  In the nine months since our debut on March 18, 2015, we’ve launched apps across Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Android and iOS.  As well, our partnership with Amazon enabled CuriosityStream’s library to become available to Amazon Prime members via Amazon’s SVOD service.  Lastly, in late September, CuriosityStream went global with our content to allow worldwide access to outstanding science, technology, history and nature documentaries.

Importantly, our global library allows CuriosityStream subscribers to watch our nonfiction programs from anywhere in the world.  I had the incredible experience of speaking in Italy recently, where I could watch CuriosityStream when my Netflix account was unavailable.  If you have upcoming travels, make sure to try us out and use the hashtag #curiositytravels to keep us informed of your experience.

In 2016, CuriosityStream looks forward to enhancing our recommendation engine, adding closed captions, offering annual plans and debuting 4K.  We can’t wait to share over 50 hours of 4K content in early spring, kicking off the launch with the premiere of our exclusive production, Big Picture Earth.  Crafted by the same filmmaker behind Discovery HD’s hit series, Sunrise Earth, CuriosityStream’s Big Picture Earth will take viewers on a 4K journey to twenty of the most spectacular locations in the world, including Stonehenge, the Acropolis, and Petra.

For now, I highly recommend our Curious Minds: The Future with Peter Diamandis as well as a few other forward-thinking programs: Catalyst: Quantum Computing, Next World: The Future with Michio Kaku, and Science Shorts.  Stay curious!

 

Best,

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Elizabeth Hendricks North is President of CuriosityStream. Follow her on Twitter @ehendricksnorth.

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