Tuesday, March 3, 2009

New center honors New Hampshire's Christa McAuliffe and Admiral Shepard

The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center Friday in Concord, New Hampshire, honoring star-crossed "Teacher in Space" Christa McAuliffe (1948-1986) and Admiral Alan Shepard (1923-1998), the first American in space and fifth man to walk on the Moon as commander of Apollo 14.

With its observatory dome and 92-foot full-scale mockup of the rocket and capsule that carried Shepard into space in 1961, the center dwarfs the original planetarium. Its programs do the same.

Director Jeanne Gerulskis says the expansion transforms the planetarium's operations. New programs build on the planetarium presentations, interactive space and science displays and teacher and student workshops.

McAuliffe's mother, Grace Corrigan, said McAuliffe would be proud to be linked with Shepard, whom she considered a hero.

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