All Performances

Yuri’s Night Portsmouth

Yuri's Night Portsmouth
Wednesday, April 10
Partially seated
$10 Admission

Get "spaced out” at Yuri’s Night Portsmouth: a social, educational, and artistic celebration of humanity's first steps into the “final frontier."

It was April 12, 1961 when Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Gargarin was shot into space completing one lap around the Earth and firing the imagination of humans around the world. Looking back since that day, we’ve landed humans on the moon, explored the outer reaches of the solar system, and are talking about the possibility of a real “warp” drive—currently under study at NASA-- that could one day take us to the stars.

So make plans to join us for an evening of fun and exploration featuring real astrophysicists, rocket scientists and astronomers. On tap for the evening are special speakers talking about our future in space, short videos featuring current and future missions to the beyond, and an Astrophotography & Space Art exhibit in the 3S Lobby Gallery and outdoor telescope views of night sky favorites put on by members of the New Hampshire Astronomical Society.

Those who come appropriately dressed for a “spacetacular” evening will get a special memento to remember the night.

About the speakers:

John Gianforte 
With so many challenges here on Earth many are asking why we are putting large amounts of our national treasure into space exploration.  Join us to find out “why” in a special Yuri’s Night talk entitled Is Space Still Relevant in the 21st Century featuring NH Public Radio Regular John Gianforte.

Gianforte is an astronomer and director of the University of New Hampshire (UNH) Observatory as well as an astronomy instructor at the University of New Hampshire.  He is also a science writer, and adjunct faculty member at Granite State College, in New Hampshire.

By day, Gianforte teaches the Introduction to Modern Astronomy and Experimental Physics courses at UNH. John has a master of science degree in astronomy and a bachelors degree in electronic engineering technology. While he spent more than 30 years as a project manager and R & D director in industry, his real passions have been astronomy, physics, chemistry and space exploration.

By night Gianforte studies bright, transiting exoplanet systems from his Blue Sky Observatory at his home in Durham, N.H. as well as at the UNH Observatory where his students have recently taken up observing the transits of planets orbiting other stars.  He is also interested in the night sky and takes images of various astronomical objects to share with his students, friends, and colleagues.

Andrew Clifford

Every single day in the past 17 years, humans have been living and working in space, specifically at the International Space Station. Join us for a quick recap by Andrew on what we spend all that time doing, and why soon, we will likely see crewed launches from US soil for the first time since 2011.

Mike Gregory 
Mike Gregory graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2003 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. He has been at Seabrook Station since graduating and is currently a unit supervisor, holding a Senior Reactor Operator’s License.

Gregory will be discussing the CATSAT, a satellite designed and built by students and faculty at the UNH Space Science Center for the NASA STEDI initiative. The topics will include a brief background on the NASA’s STEDI Initiative; the mission of CATSAT; some of the design characteristics; his role on the project, and the final fate of the satellite.

Gary Hoffman
Gary Hoffman is a systems engineer who was previously a Project Manager for the booster fuel tank for United Launch Alliance’s new Vulcan rocket. Previously, he worked at Lockheed Martin on various space system payloads and at TRW (now Northrop Grumman Space Systems) on the TDRS-S, GRO, DSP and MILSTAR satellites.

Presentation: Vulcan rocket
Gary will be talking about his time working on the new Vulcan rocket that is being produced by United Launch Alliance (ULA). Vulcan is the new heavy launch vehicle from ULA and is slated to launch in 2021.

Dan LaShomb
Daniel LaShomb is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and has worked in the security industry. Much of his free time is spent under a telescope (night and solar) or out shooting the Milky Way in the White Mountains. Dan is a NASA Solar System Ambassador and also the curator of the popular space-themed Instagram account @DanSpace77

About the organizers:

Caleigh MacPherson 
Caleigh MacPherson is an engineer from New Hampshire who previously worked on the NASA Magnetospheric Multiscale satellite mission. She was the team lead of the award-winning University of New Hampshire LunaCats, whose mission was to design and build a lunar mining robot for NASA's Annual Robotics Mining Competition. In her spare time, she attends NASA Socials and builds robots for fun.

Tom Cocchiaro
Tom Cocchiaro is the current vice president of the New Hampshire Astronomical Society (NHAS) and a NASA Solar System Ambassador.  A 20-year Air Force veteran, Cocchiaro worked as an avionics systems technician and in later years as a senior public affairs manager where he was privileged to have served on the Air Force Press Desk for the first five landings of Space Shuttle Columbia at Edwards AFB, Calif.  During his time with NHAS he has participated in numerous astronomy public outreach events and was an original member of a group within NHAS that created the Library Telescope Program (LTP).  To date, the program has placed more than 150 telescopes in libraries throughout New Hampshire.  And over the past decade, has helped other organizations across the country and the world to duplicate the program which may now be found in London and as far afield as New Zealand.

Presented by:
NASA Solar System Ambassadors