One of the first rockets to carry Americans to space stands in NH

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Wait, say what? You may be as surprised as we are.

Recently we came across this article from Far and Wide that talked about the most boring or overrated tourist traps in each 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 a real Redstone Rocket, the first craft to carry Americans into space, which makes it somewhat baffling why anyone would be interested in seeing the fake.”

Wait… back the truck up for a second. You’re saying one of the first rockets to take Americans into space is right here in New Hampshire right now? It’s time to do some research.

Where is the Redstone Rocket in New Hampshire?

It turns out that in Warren, near Lincoln and Woodstock, there is a Redstone Rocket. According to this WMUR article, the craft was brought to New Hampshire in 1971 by Henry “Ted” Asselin, who wanted to help future generations learn more about space. White Mountains New Hampshire explained on Facebook that the donation also honors Alan Shepard of New Hampshire, who traveled in a similar craft and became the first American in space in 1961, according to NASA.

What is a Redstone Rocket?

According to the U.S. military, a Redstone missile was a “highly accurate liquid-propelled surface-to-surface missile capable of delivering nuclear or conventional warheads against targets at ranges up to approximately 200 miles”. Atlas Obscura also shed a little more light on this story:

“…the Redstone missile became the “workhorse of the army” because it was useful not only for a number of military applications, but also for ballistic uses. The model has the distinction of carrying the first actual nuclear warhead during two tests over the Pacific Ocean.”

These missiles were eventually changed and modified in order to be used to take astronauts into space, according to WMUR. While this New Hampshire Rocket is (obviously) no longer active, we’re thrilled to have this piece of history right here on our playground.

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