Concord, NH –On Saturday, September 4th, from 10:30 – 4 p.m., the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center will present AerospaceFest, New Hampshire’s annual aerospace festival. Visitors will be able to engage in a wide variety of hands-on science and engineering activities at the festival, to enjoy the Discovery Center’s newest planetarium show, and to meet the current commander of the 23rd Space Operations Squadron and New Boston Space Force Station, Lt. Col. David Zesinger.
A graduate of the United State Air Force Academy, Lt. Col. Zesinger received his commission in 2005 and has served at Malstrom AFB, Schriever AFB, and Peterson AFB. His previous assignments have included oversight of missiles operations, defense of satellites, and acting as space advisor in the Global Operation Center at Headquarters United States Strategic Command. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in March 2020 and assigned command of the 23rd Space Operations Squadron in July 2021.
This year’s festival will be filled with science and engineering adventures, and a premiere of a new planetarium show exploring the Red Planet, One Day on Mars. To promote participant safety, the main exhibit area will be closed; STEM activity stations will be set up around the outside of the building and hosted by educators, scientists, aerospace specialists, pilots, and engineers from Elbit Systems of America, UNH, Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains, area robotics teams, the NH Astronomical Society, Mad Science, NASA and more.
The NH Astronomical Society will be out on the lawn with telescopes, observing the Sun and Concord skyline (pending clear skies). Lt. Col. Zesinger will talk about the work of the United States Space Force and announce the 2021 winners of the Alex Higgins Memorial Space Camp Scholarship awards: full tuition, room and board for three NH students for simulated astronaut training at the U.S. Space & Rocketry Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The full range of Aerospacefest 2021 activities are free and open to the public thanks to the generosity of New Hampshire Space Grant and Cross Insurance Agency. Mask wearing is recommended in outdoor spaces and required in the planetarium and other inside locations.
Dedicated to NH Space Pioneers Christa McAuliffe and Alan Shepard, the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center features 21st century interactive exhibits on aviation, astronomy, Earth and space science, a full-dome, all-digital planetarium and a variety of science, technology, and engineering and mathematics programs. The engaging, robust educational programs are geared towards families, teens, seniors, students, community groups and lifelong learners. For more information, visit www.starhop.com ###