• Happy New Year!
    SARA wishes you a happy new year and a productive 2018! We look forward to seeing you out at the launch range!

    James Cramton
    SARA President

    Have a productive New Year!

    Posted Jan 1, 2018, 9:28 PM by James Cramton
  • Try Contest Flying!
    Zachary Cramton at NARAM 58 with his 1st Place C Parachute Duration and 2nd place 1/2 A Superroc modelsNAR recently announced major changes to the structure of competition rules for the 2017 - 2018 season, and the result is that organizing and participating in competition launches will be much easier than in the past!  In fact, it's now so easy to hold a competition meet, that every SARA launch will be a sanctioned NAR contest. And under the new rules, all you need to do to get on the NAR National Rocketry Competition (NRC) scoreboard is to bring a model, and one our SARA members will help you try for a qualified flight!  SARA has a number of members well versed in competition flying, including several long time competitors and coaches, the author of the new NRC rules, and a Junior National Champion! (Zachary Cramton, shown here at NARAM 58 with his 1st Place C Parachute Duration and 2nd place 1/2 A Superroc models).  Contest flying is a great way for kids and adults to have fun and expand their horizons, and SARA has the experience to help you learn more!

    For the 2017 - 2018 season, the following NRC events will be scored and tracked on the NAR scoreboard, so you can see how your performances stack up against other competitors nationally: 
    • 1/2 A Parachute Duration
    • A Streamer Duration
    • A Helicopter Duration
    • 1/2 A Boost Glider Duration
    • A Payload Altitude (with altimeter)
    • C Egg Loft Altitude (with altimeter)
    The idea with these events is that they are all low power events that are (mostly) simple and cheap to build and fly, and don't tend to risk losing rockets to the winds. The goal of altitude events is to see how high you can fly the model with a certified altimeter on board. The goal of duration events is to see how long your model can stay in the air.  The simplest events to try are streamer and parachute duration events; for example, in A Streamer Duration, the goal is to fly a model on an A motor with a streamer recovery device, and see how long you can keep the model in the air (hint: finding thermals with a big streamer and a light model is key). And the goal of the C Egg Loft Altitude event is to fly and recover unbroken a raw egg of specific size and weight as high as you can on a C motor, with a certified electronic altimeter on board to measure the maximum altitude.  The rules for each event are of course more specific than that, but you can read all about the events here: 


    If you think you might want to give one of these events a try, by all means, come out to any of our launches and give it a try!  To officially enter the competition, you need to be a current NAR member 7 years or older, but SARA is happy to help anyone who wants to give competition rocketry a try with help, encouragement, and an unofficial entry. Feel free to come out and ask questions!
    Posted Sep 19, 2017, 8:08 PM by James Cramton
  • August Public Launch
    It was a beautiful day out with some light wind, but very nice overall. We had a pretty good turnout to the point we had to turn on the second set of low power pads. There will be no Flickr album this launch as our favorite photographer was out of town. The star of the show was Andrews dark matter K. Thanks to all that came out, and Steve for running the range.

    Posted Aug 20, 2017, 9:16 AM by Randall Shanyfelt
  • SARA Board of Directors meeting Tuesday, September 5th
    SARA Board of Directors meeting
    When: Tuesday September 5, 2017 6:30pm - 8:30pm

    Direct map to meeting room entrance: https://goo.gl/maps/HEfyHMxAnXq

    Direct entry door is on North side of building of 7460 N la Cholla Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85750

    Video conferencing available

    Tentative Agenda:
     - Nominations for youth NAR membership award
    - Relay box status update
    - Discussion of how/whether to hold Desert Heat 2018
    - Getting an earlier start on proposed schedules this year--and what it will take to coordinate with TIMPA earlier
    - Upcoming outreach coordination/staffing
    Posted Aug 16, 2017, 6:32 PM by James Cramton
  • Summer Update
    I have not been around in a while so some updates from SARA. 

    We are currently scouting for new launch sites, so if you know anyone with a 1-2 mile square farms or land away from airports send a message to comms@sararocketry.org. It is not a replacement for TIMPA, just a backup. 

    We have held 3 summer launches and had a contingent out at NSL. There have been Certifications and CATO's and everything in between. 

    Next launch is 8/19 and we look forward to seeing everyone, stay hydrated! 

    Posted Jul 22, 2017, 7:50 AM by Randall Shanyfelt
  • Happy Fathers Day!
    Posted Jun 18, 2017, 4:03 PM by Randall Shanyfelt
  • East Side Launch at Udall Park!
    The City of Tucson has approved a SARA sponsored launch on Tucson's East side! Saturday morning, April 22, 2017 from 8 am - 11 am, SARA will conduct a public low power model rocket launch in the open desert area southeast of the Udall Park recycling center.  We will be flying model rockets with motors up to D power up to 1000 feet above ground level. So bring your model rockets, motors, recovery wadding, and be ready to fly! Kids are welcome! This is a trial event in the hopes that a successful launch at this location will allow us to host regular East Side launches at this location. So please join us and help make this launch a success!


    Date: Saturday, April 22, 2017 8 am - 11 am
    Location: Udall Park's southern desert region, 200 meters south of the recycling center (32°14'42.62"N 110°50'12.87"W).
    Parking: Park near the softball fields or near the recycling center, but be sure not to block access to either of these areas.
    Motor and Altitude Limits: Flights are limited to D power motors and altitude below 1000 above ground level. No clusters or staged flights.
    Equipment on site: SARA will provide launch controllers and pads, fire fighting equipment, repair supplies, and volunteer range staff.

    To help us prepare for the launch, please register to let us know you are coming.  

    Please Signup to Help Run the Launch

    This launch needs every group of rocketeers to volunteer to help run the launch.  In addition to your RSVP above, please sign up to help run the launch.  Scout units in particular need to have sufficient adult leadership to maintain control of their scouts, and are also expected to have adults available to prep their scouts' rockets for flight. At least one member of each scout unit should volunteer to inspect rockets for their unit.


    Rules Governing this Location

    Please be prepared for a morning in the desert: plenty of water, closed toe shoes, sunscreen, hat, lawn chairs, and a sense of adventure! This is fairly untamed desert, and it is the site of a yard waste pickup area. So use appropriate caution, keeping an eye out for ground hazards, in addition to the native flora and fauna you will find in the desert. Also, please note that all City of Tucson Parks and Recreation Department rules apply to this location, and this includes a prohibition on the use of quadcopters/drones/UAVs in city park lands. Motor vehicles are not permitted South of the parking area near the recycling center. Flights will be conducted under the National Association of Rocketry Model Rocketry Safety Code. Please help SARA leave the launch site a little cleaner than we found it so we can all enjoy this opportunity in the future. 

    We have a large number of fliers planning to attend this launch, so please follow these guidelines ton help ensure that we can use this facility in the future:
    • Do not park south of the recycling center or the softball fields. Motor vehicles are not permitted outside of developed areas.

    • Wagons are convenient for hauling your rocket gear from the parking area. 

    • Don't forget a table or two for prepping your rockets, depending on the size of your group.  

    • Do not block access to the recycling center. it may get busy there in the late morning. Be considerate of other park users.

    • The parking area around the softball field and recycling center can accommodate around 40 parked cars. There is space for an additional 150 vehicles in the southeast corner of the park, near the tennis courts and soccer fields. 

    • Please park in designated spaces only. SARA will mark the best paths to take to get to the launch site. Be careful not to approach the launch pad area directly; the signs will lead you.

    Area Map

    In addition to the familiar landmarks of Udall Park, the map below shows a dark black line indicating the new route of Sabino Canyon Road West of Udall park, so you can now access the Western entrance of Udall Park's western entrance from the North (from Tanque Verde Road) or South (from Speedway Blvd). Once you are parked near the recycling center, proceed on foot, following signs 200 meters southeast of the recycling center to the launch site. Overflow parking is available at the south end of the tennis courts and soccer fields. Signs will lead you to the launch site from these parking areas.

    Click image for an interactive map

    Posted Apr 13, 2017, 6:16 AM by James Cramton
  • Launch Report
    What a great weekend out at the site. We had an all day launch as a reward for SARA volunteers and their friends. A great pot-luck with burgers and tacos as well. Then there was a significant amount of AP burned during the day and night. We then had a great turn out on Sunday's scout launch. Everything went very smoothly and we could not have asked for greater scouts and scout leaders. Parachutes actually opened and they listened to feedback, fixed their rockets, and checked back in.

    We will likely repeat this in October!

    Posted Mar 12, 2017, 6:11 PM by Randall Shanyfelt
  • Volunteer Day & Night Launch and Scout Launch Day!

    March 11 and 12, 2017 will see an all day launch opportunity for SARA volunteers, along with a night launch, and an opportunity to become a SARA volunteer if you have not already done so. Note that there are 2 separate Signup Genius links below, and we need you to visit each of them to let us know if you will be attending each day. Here's the scoop:

    Saturday, March 11, 2017, from 9 am - 9 pm, SARA volunteers are welcome to come enjoy the fruits of your labors, with a quiet launch day and night, away from the crowds and spectators. This will be a waivered launch, up to our typical 6,500 foot AGL ceiling, and 3,000 feet AGL after dark. We will take breaks for pot luck picnic lunch fixins, and a pot luck dinner with grillables. Then, at dusk, we will start our night launch, subject to SARA's night launch safety rules. Volunteers and their guests are welcome to camp East of the parking lot. Porta potties will be on site, but there is no potable water at the launch site, so be prepared. Please let us know if you plan to attend the volunteer launch, and what you intend to bring by completing our Volunteer Launch Signup Genius:


    If you haven't had a chance to volunteer to help keep SARA running in recent months, do not worry!  You can 'pay it backwards' by committing to attend Sunday's Scout Launch. We trust you, and besides...we know where you fly! Read on!

    Sunday, March 12, 2017, from 9 am - 1 pm, we need help with our inaugural Scout Launch Day. We will be helping around 100 Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts get their rockets in the air!  Please come out and help us make this a successful event we can repeat once or twice a year!  This launch may have some Class 1 demonstration flights, but we will not have a waiver in place, and the focus will be on making sure all scouts have a chance to fly. Please look for available slots on our Scout Launch Day Signup Genius and reserve your space.


    If you represent a scout unit that would like to participate in Scout Launch Day, please contact outreach@sararocketry.org.

    As always, the use of spark producing motors is subject to the Range Safety Officer's review of field conditions.  Do not automatically assume that spark producing motors may be flown.

    We hope to see you out there!

    James Cramton
    Southern Arizona Rocketry Association
    Posted Feb 27, 2017, 11:26 PM by James Cramton
  • Member Launch Sunday, February 19, 2017 9 am - 1 pm

    SARA has received FAA authorization to operate Class 2 high power rockets from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. this Sunday, February 19, 2017, at the TIMPA facility in Avra Valley. The operating altitude is from the surface of the Earth to 6,500 ft. above ground level. This launch is open to current SARA members and their guests. If you have not renewed your membership for 2017, now is the time to do so!

    Weather Notice

    Note we are expecting cool and wet weather, so be prepared. Be prepared for the possibility that a low cloud deck may limit your altitude on Sunday. We are proceeding with the launch, and if weather presents a problem, we will change gears to work together on some gear maintenance work at the TIMPA barn.

    AMW Pro-X On Site for the Launch!

    Our friends Gloria and Robert of AMW Pro-X will be on site for our February Members Launch!  This is reason enough to make the effort to attend our February launch! They will have their full stock of motors on site, as well as model rocket kits and accessories, so please come out and support one of our key vendors, and save on your usual HAZMAT fees!

    Ina Road and I-10 Detour Notice

    Starting in February, 2017, and lasting 2 years or more, Ina Rd at I-10 will be closed to traffic to permit major changes to the interchange, so avoid Ina Rd. at I-10. If you are heading West on Ina from Tucson, detour North on La Cholla Rd to turn Left at Magee Rd, which becomes Cortaro Farms Rd, and then Cortaro Rd when it crosses I-10. Follow Cortaro till it dead ends at Ina Rd, and turn Right on westbound Ina Rd, described below. Approaching Ina Rd. from the South, you can use Silverbell Rd. to avoid the construction, and turn Left onto westbound Ina Rd. West of I-10.

    The Fine Print

    As always, the use of spark producing motors is subject to the Range Safety Officer's review of field conditions.  Do not automatically assume that spark producing motors may be flown.

    We hope to see you out there!

    James Cramton
    Southern Arizona Rocketry Association
    Posted Feb 18, 2017, 7:07 PM by James Cramton
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