92-Foot-Tall Mercury Redstone Rocket Replica.

92-Foot-Tall Mercury Redstone Rocket Replica

Field review by the editors.

Concord, New Hampshire

Alan Shepard, a New Hampshire native, became the first American to fly into outer space on May 5, 1961. For some reason the state failed to acknowledge that -- at least as a tourist attraction -- until 2009, when it erected a life-size perfect replica of the Redstone rocket that launched Shepard skyward. Explanatory signs around the rocket reveal that the Redstone was in fact just a nuclear ballistic missile with a space capsule stuck on top. Shepard was a brave man, and a little nuts.

The rocket stands in front of the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, an upscale planetarium. There's a little bronze bust of Shepard on the admission desk, but that's the extent of his personal glorification -- which is as it should be. The rocket really was the star of those early Mercury flights.

The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center is co-named for Christa McAuliffe, New Hampshire's other famous astronaut. Unfortunately, her spacecraft didn't perform as well as Alan's.

92-Foot-Tall Mercury Redstone Rocket Replica

McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center

2 Institute Drive, Concord, NH
The rocket stands outside of the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, a half-mile northeast of I-93 exit 15W.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Franklin Pierce Home and MuseumFranklin Pierce Home and Museum, Concord, NH - < 1 mi.
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Doorstep Defended by Franklin Pierce, Vacant Lot Where He DiedDoorstep Defended by Franklin Pierce, Vacant Lot Where He Died, Concord, NH - 2 mi.
In the region:
Hannah Duston Massacre Site Statue, Penacook, NH - 5 mi.

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January 28, 2015

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