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Challenger: The Final Flight

By Cassandra Yany

On Wednesday, Netflix released “Challenger: The Final Flight,” a four-episode docuseries about the tragic explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger.

The doc was directed by Daniel Junge and Steven Leckart, and executive produced by JJ Abrams and Glenn Zipper. It provides a complete look at the events leading up to the takeoff and includes interviews with family members of the seven astronauts who died in the explosion.

According to CNN, the series uses archival footage and home videos, along with interviews from officials and crew members to shed light on the poor decision-making and systemic failures that led up to the disaster, as well as the aftermath that followed.

Challenger took off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral on January 28, 1986. Just 73 seconds after it launched, the shuttle began breaking apart, due to malfunctioning O-rings in the rocket boosters, which hardened as the temperature decreased. NASA had reportedly known about this damaged hardware for months prior, according to Vanity Fair.

The purpose of mission STS-51-L was to deploy a satellite to study the approaching Halley’s Comet, but it had been delayed multiple times because of technical difficulties.

The crew was one of NASA’s most diverse to date, as reported by the New York Post. One of the astronauts was a teacher, so school children across the country watched in class as the shuttle went down, engulfed by a huge, ominous cloud of smoke. The explosion devastated the nation, especially all of the young children who had watched it live.

Nearly thirty-five years later, we remember the passengers who lost their lives on that dreadful day:

Christa McAuliffe

Christa McAuliffe was a teacher at Concord High School in New Hampshire who learned of the Teacher in Space Project— NASA’s plan to fly an educator into space. NASA had hoped that this would help increase public interest in the space shuttle program. 

Along with 11,000 others, McAuliffe applied in 1984 to be the first teacher to communicate with students from space. She was chosen as one of two finalists from New Hampshire, then was selected to be part of the STS-51-L crew by a Review Panel in Washington, D.C.

McAuliffe took a year off from teaching to train for the space shuttle mission. While in orbit, she was planning to conduct experiments in chromatography, hydroponics, magnetism and Newton’s laws. She also would have taught two 15-minute classes— one providing a tour of the spacecraft, the other about the benefits of space travel— which would have been broadcasted to students on closed-circuit TV. 

The nationwide excitement of having McAuliffe in space was a significant reason why the explosion had such a lasting impact on the country, and was especially upsetting for young students who watched the takeoff or extensive coverage in class. 

Gregory Jarvis

Gregory Jarvis was an engineer for Hughes Aircraft who served as Payload Specialist 2 on Challenger. In 1984, he was one of two employees from the company that were selected for the Space Shuttle program. 

Jarvis was originally supposed to make his shuttle flight in April 1985, but was rescheduled to early January 1986, then rescheduled again, landing him a spot on the STS-51-L crew. From space, he planned to conduct experiments on the effects of weightlessness on fluids. 

Dick Scobee

Dick Scobee earned his pilot wings in 1966 and served as a combat aviator in the Vietnam War, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal.

After the war, Scobee graduated from the USAF Aerospace Research Pilot School and became an Air Force test pilot. He was the commander on Challenger and died a lieutenant colonel.

Judith Resnik

After graduating from Carnegie Mellon, Judith Resnik worked as a design engineer in missile and radar projects at RCA (Radio Corporation of America). There, she performed circuit design for the missile and surface radar division. She later developed electronics and software for NASA’s sounding rocket and telemetry systems programs. 

Resnik qualified as a professional aircraft pilot in 1977 and was recruited into the NASA Astronaut Corps in 1978. She was one of six women selected for the program out of 8,000 applicants. At NASA, and piloted the Northrop T-38 Talon, trained intensely, conducted research, and developed different systems and software. 

Resnik served as a mission specialist on the maiden voyage of Discovery in 1984 for her first space flight from August to September. During this flight, she operated a shuttle’s robotic arm (which she created), and deployed and conducted experiments on a solar array wing to determine if there was a way to generate additional electric power during missions. She was the second American woman in space and the first Jewish woman in space. 

Resnik was a mission specialist on Challenger. After the explosion, further examination of the cockpit shows that her Personal Egress Air Pack was activated, indicating that she may have been alive after the cockpit separated from the vehicle to activate it. Her body was the first to be recovered from the crash by Navy divers. 

Ellison Onizuka

Ellison Onizuka served as a flight test engineer and test pilot for the U.S. Air Force in the early 1970s. After attending the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School from 1974 to 1975, he became a squadron flight test engineer there and worked as a manager for engineering support in the training resources division. 

In 1978, Onizuka was selected for the astronaut program and later worked in the experimentation team, orbiter test team, and launch support screw for the STS-1 and STS-2. At NASA he also worked on the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory test and revision software team. 

Onizzuka’s first space mission was one year before the Challenger explosion, on the mission STS-51-C on the shuttle Discovery. This was the first space shuttle mission for the Department of Defense, and he became the first Asian American to reach space. 

Onizuka was a mission specialist aboard Challenger. Similar to Resnik, it is speculated that he could have been alive when the cockpit separated from the vehicle because his Personal Egress Air Pack was also activated. When he died, he held the position of lieutenant colonel, but was later promoted to the rank of colonel. 

Ronald McNair

Ronald McNair received his Ph.D. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1976 and became nationally recognized for his work in laser physics. After graduation, he worked as a staff physicist at the Hugh Research Lab in Malibu, CA. 

McNair was one of the ten thousand applicants to be selected in 1978 for the NASA astronaut program. He became the second African American astronaut in 1984 when he flew as a mission specialist for STS-41-B on Challenger from Feb. 3-11. 

McNair later served as a mission specialist for STS-51-L. During this flight, he had planned to record the saxophone solo for a song he had worked on with composer Jean-Michel Jarre for his upcoming album Rendez-Vous. This would have been the first original piece of music to be recorded in space. 

McNair was also supposed to participate in Jarre’s Rendez-Vous Houston concert through a live feed from Challenger. To honor McNair, Jarre dedicated the last song on the album to him and subtitled it “Ron’s Piece.”

Michael J. Smith

Michael J. Smith served in the Vietnam War, then attended U.S. naval Test Pilot School. After graduation, he was assigned to the Strike Aircraft Test Directorate at NAS Patuxent River in Maryland, where he worked on the A-6E TRAM and Cruise missile guidance systems. In 1976, later returned to NTPS for 18 months as an instructor. 

Smith was selected for the astronaut program in May 1980, in which he served as a commander in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory, the Deputy Chief of Aircraft Operations, the Technical Assistant to the Director, and the Flights Operations Directorate. 

Smith was the pilot for Challenger, and was set to pilot another mission the following fall. His voice was the last heard on the flight deck tape recorder with his final words being “Uh oh.”

All seven passengers were awarded with the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 2004.

Fall Foliage Package

PACKAGE NAME

Live Free and Leaf Peep

PRICING


$299 (not including tax)

Make The Hotel Concord your fall foliage base so you can go where the peak foliage is (and not where the crowds are), while enjoying our vibrant Main Street, tasty restaurants, and abundant cultural offerings all outside our door. From Concord, NH, to see the finest fall colors. Concord is in the heart of New Hampshire (White Mountains, Upper Valley, Monadnock Region and Seacoast less than an hour away).

Package Includes:


One night in our luxurious upscale Four Diamond Boutique Hotel, a gift certificate to Gould Hill Orchard in Contoocook, a specialty Miss Prindable’s Candied Apple, and pumpkin spiced coffee to warm you up on a crisp fall evening and a late check out of 12 noon. The hotel also provides turn down service which includes robes, slippers, Astor chocolate, music and lighting. Gould Hill has sweeping view over the New Hampshire mountains, and an amazing assortment of tradional and new apple varieties. Based on availability.

Visit hotel site here.

Independent Hotels in Smaller Markets Have What Millennial Business Travelers Want


Hotel Concord provides ample amenities for the largest demographic in business travel.


Business travelers have long been an important customer base for big chain hotels in large cities. Why else would so many hotels be located next to an airport? But as the core of the business travel market shifts away from Baby Boomers to Millennials, hotels are finding more and more business travelers are seeking a personalized, boutique experience when they’re working away from home.


The Hotel Concord, located on Main Street in Concord, New Hampshire, a AAA Four Diamond hotel, understands that today’s business travelers are looking for more than free wifi and a continental breakfast, and focused on this segment of the travel market when designing the hotel’s 38 well-appointed rooms.
“The Hotel Concord offers a higher level of service and a comfortable sense of place hard to find in larger hotels,” said David V. Shamoian, President & CEO of the Bravo Zulu Hospitality Group, which manages The Hotel Concord. “Guests feel like they are in the heart of New Hampshire’s capital city from the moment they enter the lobby with a full view of Concord’s Main Street. Each room is different, and round-the-clock concierge service ensures the needs of each business guest are cared for.”


A place to stay connected


According to the Pew Research Center, millennials are now the largest portion of the American workforce. This enormous segment grew up with mobile devices in hand and expect to stay connected wherever they go. Not only does The Hotel Concord offer high-speed internet to guests, but each room includes an Amazon Echo dot and Alexa-enabled devices for a truly high-end and hands-free experience. Guests can send emails and review notes at the well-lit workspace and recharge their devices using the multiple USB charging ports. While guests are letting their devices recharge, they can catch their favorite show on one of the wall mounted 55 to 65-inch flat-screen HD televisions available in each room.


More comfortable than home


The Hotel Concord strives to provide a quiet, comfortable environment so that leisure guests can relax and recharge, and business guests can focus on their work. Each room has luxury appointments, from fine bed linens and plush robes to marble-tile bathrooms and William Roam toiletries. No room is exactly the same, but guests can expect high ceilings and large windows with plenty of natural light and beautiful downtown views, many with balconies.


Combining business and leisure


According to Expedia Media Solutions, 43% of all business trips combine a leisure travel aspect, whether it’s extending the trip a few days, to bringing a significant or kids along for the journey. The Hotel Concord offers concierge service to all travelers, whether traveling for business, leisure, or a little of both. The concierges offer personal service to accommodate a wide range of needs, whether it’s transportation to and from the airport, tickets to a show, dinner reservations, or tips for fun things to do while your spouse is in a meeting. Guests can access this service by phone or visiting the concierge desk in the lobby.


About The Hotel Concord


The Hotel Concord opened its doors in 2018, and it brings a luxury 38-room boutique hotel experience to downtown Concord, New Hampshire. The Hotel was recently rated a AAA Four 4 Diamond Property. It’s located on the fourth and sixth floors of the Capital Commons building right in the heart of New Hampshire’s Main Street. Each room is unique in shape and size, offering each guest a luxury urban lodging experience. Featuring full concierge services, high-tech amenities, luxury bed linens, and well-appointed oversized bathrooms. The hotel also features event space for large or small gatherings and The Lobbyist, serving drinks nightly and continental breakfast every morning. http://www.hotelconcordnh.com/


Sources: http://www.coylehospitality.com/hotels-resorts-inns/what-todays-millenial-business-traveler-wants-from-their-hotel/
http://www.cntraveler.com/stories/2015-11-17/canopy-by-hilton-hotel-caters-to-the-young-restless
http://www.trekksoft.com/en/blog/65-travel-tourism-statistics-for-2019

The Hotel Concord Receives AAA’s Four Diamond Rating

Just 6.3 percent of more than 27,000 AAA Inspected & Approved hotels receive the prestigious rating


The Hotel Concord, the Capital City’s newest boutique hotel, has received the coveted AAA Four Diamond designation. Opened in August 2018,  The Hotel Concord  is honored with this prestigious designation in its first year in operation.

“From its inception, The Hotel Concord was conceived as a premier property with high-end amenities and a premium level of service,” said David V. Shamoian, President & CEO of the Bravo Zulu Hospitality Group. “We are exceptionally proud of the work the ownership group, the design team, and the hotel staff has put into making The Hotel Concord a standout property.”

Hotels at this level are committed to providing every guest with a high degree of hospitality and attentive service in upscale surroundings, according to AAA. Four Diamond rated properties typically offer an extensive array of amenities and guest services.

The Hotel Concord is part of a select group of establishments within North America. Currently, just 1,722 hotels hold the AAA Four Diamond designation and is one of only 8 hotels in New Hampshire

“AAA is pleased to recognize The Hotel Concord as a Four Diamond hotel,” said Michael Petrone, director of AAA Inspections & Diamond Ratings. “These establishments dedicate a significant amount of attention to detail that helps ensure a consistent and memorable guest experience. To uphold the exceptionally high standards required on a daily basis to attain this rating is an outstanding achievement.”

The Hotel Concord is a 38-room boutique hotel located on the fourth and sixth floor of the Capital Commons building in the heart of downtown Concord. It was conceived by developer Michael J. Simchik, managing partner of NH-based 100 Market Group, and is run by Bravo Zulu Hospitality Group, headed by David V. Shamoian, who has brought his 40 years of hospitality industry expertise to the new property, making it the premier hotel in Concord.

The Hotel Concord stands out in the Capital City for its unique rooms and high-end amenities. Each of the spacious rooms is a different shape and size offering guests a distinctive luxury experience, with high-tech features like state-of-the-art climate control systems, wall mounted flat screen televisions, high-speed internet and Amazon Echo Dots. To ensure the highest level of guest comfort, the rooms are also sound-proofed and feature luxury bed linens and bathrobes, California-style closets, mini fridges and well-appointed oversized bathrooms. Some rooms feature balconies with views of New Hampshire’s Capitol Building, Concord’s Main Street and the Merrimack River.

At The Hotel Concord, guests will enjoy a welcoming lobby, comfortable lounge and The Lobbyist Bar, where a light breakfast is served each morning. Executive lounges, function rooms, on-site restaurant O Steaks and Seafood, 24-hour gym and 24-hour certified chief concierge service aim to provide guests of The Hotel Concord with all their travel needs during their stay.

Those interested in an upcoming stay at The Hotel Concord can find booking information at www.hotelconcordnh.com, or by calling 603-504-3500.

About AAA Inspections

For more than 80 years, AAA has used professional inspectors to conduct in-person property evaluations. AAA offers the only rating system using comprehensive, on-site professional hotel and restaurant evaluations guided by member priorities. With a far greater inventory than any other rating entity, AAA’s rating system covers the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Travelers can find Diamond Rated establishments and inspector insight in AAA’s trip planning products: the AAA Mobile app, the online AAA Travel Guides and Travel Planner and the AAA TourBook guides available to members at AAA offices.

AAA provides more than 59 million members with automotive, travel, insurance and financial services through its federation of 35 motor clubs and nearly 1,100 branch offices across North America. Since 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for safe mobility. Drivers can request roadside assistance, identify nearby gas prices, locate discounts, book a hotel or map a route via the AAA Mobile app. To join, visit AAA.com.

About the Hotel Concord

Michael Simchik, the developer of The Capital Commons office building, had a vision for a multi-use building complex with a hotel being the last component of his master plan. The Hotel Concord, along with O’s Steak and Seafood, corporate meeting and event facilities, Red River Theater, attached covered parking, and premier  executive office space completes this landmark development.    http://www.hotelconcordnh.com

New Medicare Cards

Next week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will be automatically mailing new Medicare cards to more than 3.5 million people with Medicare in New York State.

People with Medicare in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont will also be receiving their new card. People with Medicare in these states and New York, should receive their new card by the end of August and can begin using it right away.

Key features of the new card and rollout process:

  • Social Security Numbers have been replaced with new unique identifying numbers.
  • Social Security numbers are no longer on the new Medicare, helping protect people with Medicare from identity theft and CMS fight fraud.
  • The new Medicare card is free. Avoid scammers by knowing that CMS will not call people with Medicare asking for any personal information, your Social Security Number, bank information, or to pay for the new Medicare card.
  • People with Medicare can sign up for email notifications on when the new cards will be mailed to their area by going towww.medicare.gov/newcard.
  • There are no changes to Medicare benefits. Once you receive your New Medicare card, you should destroy your old Medicare card by shredding or cutting it up with scissors.

You can also access new Medicare card fact sheets, graphics, b-roll, images and other resources here.

Grand Opening of Luxury Retreat in New Hampshire!

New Hampshire’s Lakes Region

Welcomes New Luxury Retreat

Pickering House Inn in Wolfeboro Prepares

For August 2018 Grand Opening

Overlooking the picture-postcard village of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, on the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee is the Pickering House Inn, which, upon its Aug. 1 grand opening, will be the first luxury inn of its kind in the state’s Lakes Region.  The 10-room retreat will be a New England hot spot for discerning travelers seeking exceptional accommodations and services within two hours from Boston.

The historic building, built in 1813 and for many decades the residence of prominent businessman Daniel Pickering, was close to being torn down when in 2016 Wolfeboro residents Peter and Patty Cooke purchased the property.  The couple – along with a team of local companies and avid supporters – brought the stunning Greek Revival structure back to life.  The new Pickering House will provide up to 20 guests with whimsical, laid-back luxury and an ambiance that lends the feel of a being in a friend’s lavish country home.

Interior designs in the guest rooms and common areas, which include the Gathering Kitchen and The Barn, blend rustic chic with modern elegance.  Patty oversaw every detail of the interior design process, fashioning each space with a different look and feel.  A sample of her keen sense of design is found in the “Wall of Doors,” an à la Alice in Wonderland look that came about when she noticed dozens of old doors being thrown out.  The doors, cut perfectly like a puzzle, now accompany the stairs leading up to guest rooms.

In the Gathering Kitchen guests will enjoy sumptuous homemade breakfasts, afternoon treats and evening nibbles with cocktails and wine.  For early risers, each floor will have a nook where freshly baked goods are available before breakfast. The Barn will host Saturday evening Innkeeper dinners showcasing the Inn’s chef as well as visiting chefs from New England and beyond.  Demonstration cooking classes held in the Gathering Kitchen will also be an activity for “at home chefs” in the making.

The Pickering House is a three-minute walk to downtown Wolfeboro, which is dotted with artisan shops, galleries and seasonal eateries.  Guests may also enjoy Lake Winnipesaukee’s many aquatic activities, including stand up paddle boarding, boat rentals, swimming and canoeing, and excursions to other lakeside towns via a boat ride on the M/V Sophie C., the official – and oldest – floating post-office for the lake’s island residents. Additional activities include nearby hiking, skiing, antiquing, tastings at local spirit companies, and the popular Great Waters Music Festival.

For additional information on the Pickering House Inn, please visit www.pickeringhousewolfeboro.com or call 603-569-6848.

Follow Pickering House Inn:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pickeringhouseinn

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/pickeringhouseinn

Halloween Candy Map

In case you haven’t noticed all of the pumpkin-lined porch steps or the multitude of horror movie marathons on TV, it’s spooky season! Halloween is less than two weeks away, which means hayrides, haunted houses, and, most importantly, FREE CANDY!!! Well, free for cute kids dressed up like Spiderman or Moana. For adults, Halloween means stocking up on the good stuff to avoid a yard full of toilet paper or having your car decorated with egg yolks. Halloween is a candy manufacturer’s Christmas. According to The National Retail Federation, it’s expected that 2.7 billion dollars will be spent on trick-or-treat candy this year. It may seem like a good idea to buy the cheapest bag of candy you can find, however, when November 1st rolls around and you’re left with three pounds of store-brand lollipops none of the trick-or-treaters wanted to take, bargain shopping might be a decision you’ll regret.

If you want to avoid the horror that is too much leftover candy, you’ll have to fork over a a few extra bucks for the good stuff. You may stroll down the candy aisle at the supermarket amidst the plethora of different chocolates, gummies, sours, and sweets, and think to yourself, how do I know which candy to buy? Well, CandyStore.com, is here to help. Over the past 10 years, CandyStore.com has been shipping tons of bulk candy all across the United States and Canada. They compiled 10 years (2007-2016) of sales data for the months leading up to Halloween and put together an interactive map that details the top three most popular Halloween candies for each state, indicated by pounds distributed. Check out the interactive map HERE to become the go-to house for all of the witches, ghosts, and Chewbaccas in town. Or, if you’d rather not have hoards of little vampires and Pokemon running through your yard but still want to please the kiddos, CandyStore.com also has a list of the WORST candies, so you know exactly what not to buy.

CandyStore.com also offers the option of skipping the trip to supermarket all together. Order online in bulk so you can avoid facing the delicious temptation of sugary goodness in candy aisle.