Southern Arizona Rocketry Association

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Inaugural SARA Agua Blanca High Power Launch

  • 23 Feb 2024
  • 15:00
  • 24 Feb 2024
  • 12:00
  • 32°17'26.8"N 111°23'09.0"W
  • 7


  • Range fee is required for all attendees, per BLM permit

Registration is closed

This invitation-only high power launch at SARA's Agua Blanca launch site is in Ironwood Forest National Monument (INFM), at the West end of Manville Rd (~ 8 miles northwest of TIMPA). Ceiling for this launch is 14,838 ft above ground level (17,000 ft MSL).

About this launch

  • This is a trial run at a new launch site; attendance is by invitation only. We plan open launches at this site once we work out the kinks. Attendees at this inaugural launch are invited because SARA values their flight experience and their insight into developing safe operating procedures unique to this launch site. Please participate to share your feedback about the experience.
  • Pre-registration is required.  Due to BLM daily use fees, all attendees (members, non-members, and spectators) must pay the fee. Attendance will be granted on a first come, first served basis, so sign up as soon as you can.

  • There is a waitlist available, so if you make a reservation and can't attend, please cancel your reservation up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund so someone else can use your spot.

  • Access to this launch site includes a poorly maintained dirt track that is directly in a wash in some places. Seasonal disruptions to access are possible and unpredictable. High ground clearance (7"+) required; an SUV or truck is preferred. High clearance 4WD is not a requirement, but certainly wouldn't hurt. Plan to caravan with the group so you have support in case you get stuck.

  • This is a waivered class 2 (high power) launch, subject to weather, sky, and field conditions. Bring your NAR or Tripoli card as proof of certification. Events at the Agua Blanca launch site prioritize high power and high altitude flights that can best take advantage of this expansive launch site.
    While low power sport flights are not prohibited, high power and high altitude are the emphasis of this launch site. SARA will provide several 8 ft 1010 rail pads and one 12 ft 1515 rail pad. If you need other launch gear, please make arrangements ahead of time.

  • Please actually read the terms and conditions linked from the registration page. They are not just disclaimers, but contain important information about this launch site and expectations of all attendees.

Launch and Camping Logistics
  • We plan to camp at the launch site Friday evening. There are no facilities, no water, and no ground fires permitted at the site. We have seen RVs, trucks with in-bed campers, and vans in the area, as well as tent campers. This is a trial run of the camping experience; please practice Leave No Trace principles and leave the site better than you found it. SARA will have a rustic, portable cat litter style toilet available with a privacy tent. If you use it, you are responsible for your own cleanup. The TIMPA flush toilets are the closest other available facilities.

  • Launch operations will be broadcast on FRS/GMRS radio frequencies, so bring an FRS or GMRS radio to stay informed while out recovering.
  • Goals for this launch include gaining first hand experience launching and recovering high power rockets on this range, further developing guidelines for ground tests and logistics of camping at this site.

  • Plan to meet at the TIMPA barn at 3 pm to collect fire fighting gear and launch equipment before heading out to the Agua Blanca Site. We'll camp overnight Friday and launch Saturday morning. You're welcome to show for only Saturday's launch if that fits your schedule better, but it's a nice remote campsite.

  • Carpooling from the TIMPA barn or the IFNM access point are encouraged.

  • Ground fires are not permitted at this location. Fires are permitted only in portable fire rings; pack out all ash. Gas cooking is fine.

  • Be sure to wear sunscreen, a hat, long pants and long sleeves, and closed toe shoes; bring plenty of water, a cell phone, an FRS or GMRS radio, and always recover rockets with a partner. Watch out for gopher holes, snakes, and other desert hazards when recovering rockets.

About the Launch Site

Range Officers

RSO: James Cramton

LCO: James Cramton and others as needed

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SARA is a volunteer-run 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation based in Tucson, Arizona

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