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Participant looks through a telescope with a New Hampshire Astronomical Society member at a previous Aerospacefest. Courtesy photo.




Aerospacefest

Where: McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, 2 Institute Drive, Concord
When: Saturday, June 13, 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost: $15 for adults, $10 for children ages 3 to 12, free for children under 2, and free for members
Visit: starhop.com/aerospacefest




Three, two, one, blast off
McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center celebrates Aerospacefest

06/11/15
By Angie Sykeny asykeny@hippopress.com



 Spend a day among the stars at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center’s annual Aerospacefest, happening Saturday, June 13, from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and featuring activities pertaining to space, aviation, science and engineering.

“It’s a really fun day for families to spend time together, and an inspiring day as well,” Executive Director Jeanne Gerulskis said. “It’s an opportunity to learn about space and flight and meet people who are doing very cool things.”
The festival’s special guest and keynote speaker, Rick Linnehan, graduated from Pelham High School and UNH before becoming a NASA astronaut in 1992. He will be at the event from noon to 4 p.m. to meet with people and answer questions, and at 2 p.m., he will give a talk on “Living & Working in Space,” where he’ll share some of his adventures working as an astronaut. Linnehan will also be presenting the Alex Higgins Memorial Space Camp Awards, scholarships awarded to three New Hampshire kids between the ages of 9 and 18 that cover the tuition costs for them to attend Space Camp in Alabama.
“[Linnehan] is a great inspiration for kids,” Gerulskis said. “Having an astronaut here is the most exciting part of the day. There’s nothing that lights up a kid’s eyes like meeting a real astronaut.”
At noon, engineers from the original UNH CATSAT team will give a presentation on “Building a Satellite, Launching Careers,” where they’ll talk about what the Cooperative Astrophysics and Technology SATellite was, their experiences building it, and where the team members are today.
At 1 p.m., Squam Lakes Science Center will present “Nature’s Cool Flying Machines,” a series of demonstrations with live raptors. They will also have a nature discovery station set up all day.
Outside on the lawn, members of the New Hampshire Astronomical Society will be showing people how to use telescopes and answering questions about astronomy and the society.
“They’re a great group to work with, and they really just love astronomy,” Gerulskis said. “They’ll have telescopes with solar filters so people can look up at the sun and other [telescopes] aimed at distant objects so people can get a feel for how telescopes work. And they’ll be talking with people about different types of telescopes, astrophotography, radio telescopes, whatever their interests are.”
Other organizations participating in the festival include FIRST Robotics, doing robot demonstrations and interactive robot activities; Raytheon, with “Math Moves U” and engineering stations; the Mount Washington Observatory and Plymouth State University’s Meteorology Team, talking about weather; and the New Hampshire Aviation Bureau, with a flight simulator.
The center will be featuring some new exhibits that day. “Roll, Drop, Bounce: The Science of Motion” is an interactive exhibit that lets kids learn about motion by experimenting with different weighted objects. The CATSAT satellite will be on display, as will kids’ artwork from both state and international art contests.
Gerulskis said the festival is a great event to get kids excited about space and aviation and maybe even inspire them to pursue careers in those fields.
“Your kids may want to grow up and do these things,” Gerulskis said. “[The festival] is a way to show kids all the amazing things they can have in their future if they choose to go in any of the directions they’re exposed to when they come to the festival.” 
 
As seen in the June 11, 2015 issue of the Hippo.





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