One of First Rockets to Carry Americans Into Space Now Stands in New Hampshire
Wait, say what? You may be just as surprised as we are.
Recently, we stumbled upon this Far and Wide article that talked about the most boring or overrated tourist traps in every state.
According to them, the New Hampshire destination that made the list was the Redstone Rocket Replica in Concord, located at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center. That said, it was the reason for this conclusion that ultimately caught our attention:
"About an hour’s drive north of this replica is an actual Redstone Rocket, the first vessel to carry Americans into space, making it somewhat baffling why anyone would be interested in seeing the fake one."
Wait...back the truck up for a second. You're saying that one of the first rockets to take Americans into space is currently sitting up here in New Hampshire? Time to do some research.
Where is the Redstone Rocket in New Hampshire?
It turns out that up in Warren, near Lincoln and Woodstock, sits a Redstone Rocket. According to this WMUR article, the vessel was brought to New Hampshire in 1971 by Henry "Ted" Asselin, who wanted to help interest future generations to learn more about space. White Mountains New Hampshire explained on Facebook that the donation also honored New Hampshire's own Alan Shepard, who traveled in a similar vessel and became the first American in space in 1961, according to NASA.
So what is a Redstone Rocket?
According to the US Army, a Redstone missile was a "highly accurate, liquid propelled, surface-to-surface missile capable of transporting nuclear or conventional warheads against targets at ranges up to approximately 200 miles." Atlas Obscura also shed some more light on this history:
"...the Redstone missile came to be known as the “Army’s Workhorse” as it was useful not just for a number of military applications, but of ballistic uses as well. The model has the distinction of carrying the first live nuclear warhead during two tests over the Pacific Ocean."
These missiles were eventually changed and altered in order to be used for taking astronauts in space, according to WMUR. Although this New Hampshire rocket is (obviously) no longer active, we're excited to have this piece of history here on our stomping grounds.