The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center is a science museum dedicated to New Hampshire space pioneers Christa McAuliffe and Alan Shepard. Centrally located in Northern New England, the Discovery Center expanded from its origins as a small state-run planetarium in 1990 to a major regional science museum in 2009, opening initially as a state-run facility and transitioning in 2013 to a 100% independent private sector nonprofit science museum with indoor and outdoor science and engineering exhibits, an all-digital, full-dome planetarium, observatory, science store and cafe.
The Discovery Center’s mission is to inspire every generation to reach for the stars, through engaging, artful and entertaining activities that explore astronomy, aviation, earth and space science.
The Discovery Center’s vision is to be a sustainable memorial that will engage minds, make learning fun, and inspire people of all ages to pursue lifelong learning about our universe.
Located right off I-93 in Concord, NH and open year-round, the 45,000-square-foot Discovery Center offers exhibits on astronomy, aviation, earth science, space science, space exploration history and general exhibits on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM); planetarium shows for all ages; pre-K – 12 school field trips; workshops for children, adults and families including a lecture series, summer STEM camps, a homeschool STEM workshop series, after-school programs, telescope observation nights, classic science fiction movie nights; an annual aviation and space festival; Scout overnight adventures; educational outreach that includes a portable planetarium, telescopes and air rockets; visits from astronauts, scientists and engineers; and facility rentals for meetings, weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, proms and more.