McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center
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Black Holes


National Standards Related to STEM

NEW EXHIBIT OPENING Friday, January 20, 2017.


Great Balls of Fire

The threat of a catastrophic impact from an asteroid or comet is a staple of popular culture. If there was a dinosaur killer in Earth’s past, is there a human killer in our future? What are the chances and how do we assess the risks? For that matter, what are asteroids, comets, and meteorites, and where do they come from? Explore all these questions--and much, much more!

This exhibit is on loan from the Space Science Institute until April 30, 2017.



Lunar Recon exhibit

A satellite designed by students, engineers and scientists at the University of New Hampshire to detect gamma rays - the dangerous rays that comprise the most energetic component of the electromagnetic spectrum - and determine their sources. CATSAT met all the criteria NASA required, but was unable to deploy due to a problem with NASA’s launch vehicle. This 100% NH designed and built satellite is now on display in its new home at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center.

Lunar Recon exhibit

Lunar Recon: Spacecraft, Craters, and Cosmic Rays
This new exhibit focuses on the Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter (LRO) and Earth's only natural satellite, the Moon. Two twelve foot murals of the nearside and farside of the Lunar surface serve as an introduction to the interactive exhibit featuring many aspects of LRO's mission. This exhibit has been developed in partnership with the University of New Hampshire and NASA.

NH minerals exhibit

New Hampshire's Mineral Treasures
Amateur mineral collector Tom Mortimer has been field collecting minerals for over 35 years and his expansive collection of New Hampshire Minerals is now at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center. Browse through the 255 of 294 known mineral species found in New Hampshire on the interactive touch screen and view the corresponding sample lit up in the display. More information about the exhibit and all of the New Hampshire mineral species can be found at The New Hampshire's Mineral Treasures is generously on loan from the Mortimer Family Trust.

Picture Yourself in Infrared exhibit

Picture Yourself in Infrared
Step in front of the infrared camera and see yourself in infrared light. Infrared light is outside the part of the electomagnetic spectrum visible to humans, but this exhibit contains a special camera that converts the infrared into an image we can see. The interactive touchscreen allows you to explore the electromagnetic spectrum and dig deeper into the uses of infrared light. The interactive software is also available online by clicking here. The exhibit and online interactive has been generously provided by the Lincoln Financial Foundation.

Redstone Rocket interactive exhibit

Redstone Rocket Plaza
The BAE Redstone Plaza features a full-sized replica of a Mercury-Redstone rocket surrounded by an interactive, multi-sensory exhibit that tells the story of New Hampshire hero Alan Shepard, his historic flight as the first American in space on May 5, 1961, and the story of the Space Race.


Riding the Waves of History

A history exhibit on the life and adventures of the Granite State's John E. Cooperider and their intersection with our namesake, Rear Admiral Alan B. Shepard. Cooperider was administrative assistant to four consecutive Secretaries of the U.S. Navy during the heady years of NASA's creation, the Space Race and the Cold War, during which time he got to know Shepard. The exhibit features images and artifacts from Cooperider's 20-year career with the U.S. Navy, including autographed flight documents from six of the original Mercury 7 astronauts, and some of the Discovery Center's exciting new Alan Shepard-related acquisitions, including a boat built by a 16-year-old Alan Shepard at Proctor Academy and photographs of Shepard during his Mercury and Apollo missions--even one of Shepard playing golf on the Moon!

Sunstruck Sunstruck: The Exhibit

Discover the sun and all its mysteries with this brand new hands-on, interactive display that explains the science behind solar energy and showcases the sun on a 3D screen!
tribute to two heroes exhibit

Tribute to Two NH Heroes
Take a personal look at the two space pioneers to whom the Discovery Center is dedicated: America's first astronaut, Alan Shepard, and NASA's Teacher-in-Space, Christa McAuliffe.

NASA Bios:

Crusader Jet

XF8U-2 Crusader Jet
Originally built by Vought Aircraft, this particular Crusader – BU#140448 – has been refurbished to its original glory by Vought. Originally an F8U-1, this Crusader was the 5th airplane to come off of Vought’s production line and was the first production Crusader to be delivered to the US Marine Corps. Later, it was returned to Vought, which modified it into the second XF8U-2 prototype. This prototype underwent extensive flight testing. After being retired from service, it served as a gate guard at the Naval Air Station Dallas, was next exhibited by the Pate Museum (Borland TX), and then at the Vought Aircraft Heritage Foundation before it was transported for exhibition here at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center. The next stage will be to lift this Crusader back into the air and suspend it from the NASA Atrium ceiling. Click here to learn more about how you can help restore this jet to its full glory!

comparing earth to other planets exhibit

Looking at Earth - Looking Beyond
Discover how we can image our universe, find out how Earth compares to other planets and moons in the solar system, see our planet in a whole new way and even try your hand at being a weather forecaster in this fully interactive exhibit gallery.

shuttle model exhibit

Space Shuttle Model
Discover a large-scale model of a space shuttle with an external fuel tank and solid rocket boosters, surrounded by actual items that New England astronauts brought with them into space. Experience life "on orbit" with a touch screen video interactive.


Mercury Capsule
A full-sized model of the capsule that took Alan Shepard to space, this Mercury capsule looks so real you might never know it is a replica - suspended in our atrium!


KA1SKY Amateur Radio Station
This fully functional HF/VHF/UHF/Satellite amateur radio station is a unique exhibit that demonstrates and uses a part of the electromagnetic spectrum. The radio allows voice transmission and Morse code on thousands of frequencies of various wavelengths. With the guidance of volunteer amateur radio operators, you can talk to other “hams” around the country as well as contact the International Space Station when it is in a favorable position. Learn more about this memorial station and its volunteers.

across the spectrum

Across the Spectrum
Experience the electromagnetic spectrum like you never have before! Dial in a section of the spectrum and see, hear and even feel it! Made possible by NASA Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO) Education and Public Outreach Program.

space shuttle ejection seat

Living and Working in Space
Experience some pieces of history as you learn how working in space relates to working here on Earth.

Earth from Space poster exhibit

Earth from Space Poster Exhibit
See our home planet as you never have before! Beautiful satellite images of Earth can be seen in this poster exhibit from the U.S. Geological Survey and the Smithsonian Institution. Curriculum guides for middle and high school students, "zoomable" satellite images and much more are available on the exhibition's website

planetarium theater

Planetarium Theater
The Discovery Center's 103 seat theater uses state-of-the-art Digital Sky technology, a full-dome video system with a data base of over 110,000 stars, stellar and planetary objects extending out to the edge of the known universe.

Visit our partner institution for free - find out how!
Contact Us

2 Institute Drive
Concord, NH 03301
603.271.7832 (fax)

Public Hours:

Fri, Sat, Sun:
10:30 AM - 4 PM

1st Friday of the month: 6:30 - 9 PM

Open Columbus Day and Veteran's Day

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