A massive rocket towers above the trees in Concord, New Hampshire. It’s pointed upward as if it could take to the sky at any second.
The 92-foot-tall structure is a replica of a Mercury-Redstone Rocket. It was erected in 2009, almost 50 years after a real Redstone Rocket launched the first American out of this world and into outer space.
The Mercury-Redstone rockets were used by Americans in their early extraterrestrial explorations. They first launched a chimpanzee into orbit, and then later, Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom. They were discontinued in the 1960s in the United States.
The replica in Concord is that of the craft used by Alan Shepard, the first American to go to space. Though you can catch glimpses of the massive structure through the trees while driving down the highway, it’s best to view it from the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center.
The discovery center was named after two New Hampshire natives famous for space travel: Alan Shepard and Christa McAuliffe, who was chosen to be the first teacher in space but tragically died in the Challenger explosion.
In addition to this replica, New Hampshire also has a real Redstone Rocket in one of its public parks.
Know Before You Go
There is a parking lot in front of the discovery center. You have to pay to enter the discovery center, but the rocket is outside and you can view it and the information plaques for free.