Rocket and Space Related

There are plenty of activities for the rocket and space enthusiast in Tucson, AZ. Here is just a sample of places to visit while at NARCON.

University of Arizona Mirror Lab

This is an excerpt  from the University of Arizona website. At the University of Arizona’s Richard F. Caris Mirror Laboratory, a team of scientists and engineers are making giant, lightweight mirrors of unprecedented power for a new generation of optical telescopes.

These mirrors represent a radical departure from the conventional solid-glass mirrors used in the past. They have a honeycomb structure on the inside; made out of Ohara E6-type borosilicate glass that is melted, molded and spun cast into the shape of a paraboloid in a custom-designed rotating oven. Honeycomb mirrors offer the advantages of their solid counterparts – rigidity and stability – but they can be significantly larger, and dramatically lighter.

The Mirror Lab team has also developed a revolutionary new method to polish the honeycomb mirrors with a deeply curved, parabolic surface that results in much shorter focal lengths than conventional mirrors.

NARCON has arranged for two tours of the University of Arizona’s Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab on Friday, March 6, 2020.  The tours are at 11:00 a.m. and 2:30 PM.  Each tour can accommodate 30 people.  The price for the tour is $18.00 per person.  Please note that we will release unreserved tour slots on January 31.  Individuals wishing to participate in the tour after that date will need to make their own tour reservations directly with the mirror lab.

The tour takes you through a large-scale scientific research and development facility.  A portion of the tour involves walking, as well as climbing and descending stairs.  The laboratory requires guests to wear closed toe shoes for safety and comfort; you mat not be permitted to attend the tour without closed toe shoes.  Sneakers are recommended for ease, safety, and comfort.  The minimum age for the tour is 10 years old and minors must be accompanied by an adult.  If you have questions about accessibility or disability related accommodations  please contact Vannessa Gressieux at 520-626-8792 or

NARCON 2020 will provide directions and parking instructions in the packet for registered individuals.

 See the process of making a giant mirror


Titan Missile Museum

This is an excerpt from the Titan Missile Museum website. The Titan Missile Museum is a private non-profit museum that preserves a formerly-operational Titan II missile site for the benefit of the public. The museum does not receive funding from any governmental entity and relies on admission fees and museum store sales to support its preservation efforts.

The museum preserves the missile site as it was in 1982 when it was decommissioned. The only way to see the missile site is to take a guided tour. Everything you’ll see here is real, including the missile (without the bomb of course)! We have a couple of picnic tables in front of the museum if you bring your lunch or a snack and there are a number of local restaurants close by. Parking is free, including room for your RV.  No admission fee is required to shop in the museum store or to visit the exhibit gallery. Reservations are required for all tours.

• Tours • Take a look at the Titan missile Museum.


Air Force “Boneyard”

This is an excerpt from the website. Davis-Monthan AFB’s role in the storage of military aircraft began after World War II, and continues today. It has evolved into “the largest aircraft boneyard in the world“.

With the area’s low humidity in the 10%-20% range, meager rainfall of 11” annually, hard alkaline soil, and high altitude of 2,550 feet allowing the aircraft to be naturally preserved for cannibalization or possible reuse, Davis-Monthan is the logical choice for a major storage facility.

• Tours • Take a look at the Davis-Monthan Air Force base.


Pima Air & Space Museum

The Pima Air & Space Museum is one of the largest non-government funded aviation and space museums in the world!

This is an excerpt from the Pima Air & Space Museum website. Featuring over 350 historical aircrafts, from a Wright Flyer to a 787 Dreamliner. Sitting on 80 acres the museum opened its doors to the public in May of 1976. Over the past forty years, the museum has grown immensely and today encompasses six indoor exhibit hangars (three dedicated to WWII).

Docent-led walking tours and museum ground Tram Tours are offered daily. The museum is the exclusive operator of bus tours of the 2,600-acre “Aircraft Boneyard”/U.S. military and government aircraft storage facility.