On March 26 and 27, the Southern Arizona Rocketry Association will host its seventh annual Desert Heat event on the TIMPA grounds of Avra Valley. Everyone is invited to attend, and it won’t take rocket science to enjoy this special day, just an appreciation for fun and model rocketry.

Rocketeers from across the Southwest are preparing to show off their best skills and flying machines in this annual two-day gathering, flying everything from model kits, up to an elaborate half-scale scud missile.

Organized by amateur rocket enthusiasts, SARA club members share a love of model rocketry that has evolved over the last 17 years to a community of more than 50 strong, continuously signing up new enthusiasts along the way.

They host regular monthly launches and special events, including night launches, throughout the year that not only bring in the die-hards but spectators, too, who appreciate the free entertainment of the many different sizes and shapes that take to the air.

If the impressive sight of glaring smoke trails isn’t enough, then the roar of these projectiles as they glide high into the sky makes for a spectacular show that’s hard to forget, taking onlookers back to the nostalgia of their youth.

Just ask Michael Edmonds, who signed up his family in January and embraces the club as an event that they not only can have fun at, but also use as a subliminal educational tool with his 3-year-old daughter, Sara. Edmonds believes this sport is a great way to introduce his daughter to the many science skills involved in building and launching a model rocket that can be put to use in her future learning.

“Launching rockets and watching the variety that SARA has to offer exposes her to many different aspects of rocketry and aerospace. My hope is that she can decide for herself if it is something she wants to learn more about,” said Edmonds on the benefits of the sport.

Edmonds used a model rocket kit from a hobby shop for his first father-daughter launch; it was easy to make and even easier to enjoy. Little Sara was thrilled as she watched her first rocket successfully launch, and then deploy and land.

The Edmonds are excited about the upcoming Desert Heat event and hope to participate in at least one day of activities. They also would like to take in the many different rockets that will be launching over the area, and participate in a specific feature aimed at the kids — the mass launch of 50 tetrahedron rockets, where once launched and landed, they can retrieve them to turn it in for a prize. This event happens both Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m.

Everyone is invited to attend this event, which opens at 9 a.m. daily at 3250 N. Reservation Road, between Manville Road and Mile Wide Road by the Tucson International Modelplex Park Association. A night launch will take place 6-9 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is free.

For more information visit the SARA website at sararocketry.org.

If you go

What: 7th Annual Desert Heat Rocket Launch Event

Who: Presented by Southern Arizona Rocketry Association

When: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, March 26 & 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday March 27. Special night launch 6-8 p.m. Saturday

Where: 3250 N. Reservation Road, between Manville Road and Mile Wide Road where the Tucson International Modelplex Park Association

Cost: Admission is free.

For more information, visit http://sararocketry.org.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.