The NAR and the Southern Arizona Rocketry Association present
March 6-8, 2020, Tucson, Arizona
I am Steve Lubliner, NARCON 2020’s Event Director. I want to welcome folks to Tucson, Arizona for NARCON 2020 on behalf of myself and the host NAR section, Southern Arizona Rocketry Association (SARA). First and rocketry aside, our climate will allow you to leave the snowshoes and parkas at home. Tucson’s average low is 49 degrees F and average high is 75 degrees F in March. Then there are our aerospace, planetary exploration, and astronomy highlights. Tucson was once a strategic target because of the 18 Titan missile silos dispersed around the city outskirts. Today, you can see a Titan missile silo from the surface and from alongside the silo underground at the Titan Missile Museum. Tucson has on display over 300 aircraft at its Pima Air Museum including an SR-71, three B-52s, a 787, and a B-36 ten engine aircraft. Tucson is also home to the “Boneyard”, the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG). Thousands of aircraft, some in temporary storage, some in long term storage, and some as “organ donors” for flying aircraft are present in the boneyard. All of the above offer tours of their facilities.
Astronomy is important to Tucson and Tucson is important to astronomers. Our many days of clear skies and urban planning to minimize light pollution make us the home of renowned telescope facilities such as Kitt Peak. Many large telescopes require correspondingly large mirrors to gather light. The University of Arizona’s Richard F. Caris Mirror Laboratory is a premier source for large telescope mirrors that are ground and polished to within billionths of an inch of their required geometry. NARCON 2020 offers a tour of this facility. The University of Arizona’s Lunar Planetary Laboratory (LPL) is important to our investigations of the universe. The LPL design instruments, build instruments, and manages the scientific missions for space probes. We will be privileged to a talk by Bashar Rizk, a Senior Staff Scientist, for the OSIRIS-REx mission to the astroid Bennu. Bashar will be the featured speaker at our Saturday night banquest. The OSIRIS-REx mission is in progress and is expected to get samples of the Bennu soil and return them to Earth.
Finally, we are arranging a varied list of speakers for the Saturday presentations. Some speakers are well known, like Trip Barber, Gary Rosenfield, and Tim VanMilligan. Some folks will talk on hobby rocketry topics such as laying up carbon fiber tubes and reading the weather to maximize competition flight performance. Many of us are using electronics and communications in our more sophisticated rockets and ground support equipment. NARCON 2020 has presentations planned on electromagnetic interference, FCC Part 15, and amateur radio to address practical (and legal) applications of the electronic technologies. A presentation on the X-37 space plane addresses current aerospace headlines.
Again, Welcome to NARCON 2020!