2021 Tours in Tucson

Purchase tickets to tours on our Eventbrite page. Click the green “Register” button and then scroll down until you see “Additional Events.” If you have already purchased your General Admission, please use the same email address for purchasing tours.

All times are subject to change. For all tours, especially those involving bus rides, a minimum number of participants may be required. Please be sure to check in for your tours at the IRG registration desk in the Marriott when you pick up your badge.

Tree Ring Research Laboratory

Friday, 24 September. Depart Marriott at 1:30 pm; return by 3:30 pm

Monday, 27 September. Depart Marriott at 1:30 pm; return by 3:30 pm

The science of dendrochronology — the scientific study of tree-rings — was developed by an astronomer at the University of Arizona in the early 20th century to date archaeological ruins in the Southwest. Today, the science of dendrochronology continues to date archaeological sites, explains past and present ecological processes, and provides detailed past climate records, which are used to help improve understanding of possible future climate changes. Come explore the many samples and get the science stories behind them at the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research.  

Cost: $10. Walking distance from the Marriott. Space is limited.

Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab

Thursday, 23 September. Depart Marriott at 1:30 pm; return by 3:30 pm

Friday, 24 September. Depart Marriott at 3:30 pm; return by 5:30 pm

Monday, 27 September. Depart Marriott at 1:00 pm; return by 3:00 pm

Monday, 27 September. Depart Marriott at 3:30 pm; return by 5:30 pm

The University of Arizona builds the largest telescope mirrors in the world — underneath the east stands of the football stadium! This is where UArizona scientists, engineers and technicians have developed innovations in constructing large lightweight mirrors with unprecedented surface accuracy. These mirrors represent a radical departure from the conventional solid-glass mirrors used in the past, producing a new generation of telescopes currently exploring the universe in optical and infrared light. Mirrors under construction now will comprise the Giant Magellan Telescope, now being constructed in Chile. 

Cost: $30. Walking distance from the Marriott. Space is very limited.

Biosphere 2

Monday, 27 September. Depart Marriott at 1:30 pm; return by 5:30 pm.

The Biosphere 2 facility was built by spaceflight visionaries, to explore the limits of long-term closed-loop life support for human habitats in space and on other planets. Today, it is the world’s largest controlled-growth apparatus dedicated to understanding the implication, mitigation, and adaptation solutions for the resilience of our planet (Biosphere 1). This private tour will take you “back stage” to see some of the engineering systems developed for the original  sealed habitat, and a tour of the new  Study of Analog Missions for the Moon and Mars (SAM). 

Cost: $60. This tour involves a bus ride of approximately 45 minutes each way. Space is very limited.

The PIMA Air & Space museum is a dream destination for aviation fans

Pima Air & Space Museum

Friday, 24 September. Depart Marriott at 9:00 am; return by 12:00 pm.

Featuring about 400 historic aircraft, 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, including one dedicated to space, with emphasis on X-planes and artifacts from the 1960s Space Race. (Note that tours of the “Boneyard” are suspended due to COVID19.)

Cost: $45. This tour involves a bus ride of approximately 20 minutes each way. Space is limited.

Paragon Space Development Corporation

Monday, 27 September. Depart Marriott at 1:30 pm; return by 4:00 pm.

Tucson-based Paragon’s expertise in engineering, design, analysis, and manufacturing, combined with their patented ECLSS Human-Rating Facility (EHF) and Testing Facilities, position the company as a leader in the development of innovative and affordable life support and thermal control solutions. Paragon has worked on every major human space flight program since 1999, and its hardware has flown on NASA spacecraft (Orion, Shuttle, and the ISS, foreign spacecraft (Soyuz and Mir) as well as commercial spacecraft. All US commercial orbital spacecraft use a Paragon ECLSS architecture. This tour will let you visit their engineering and manufacturing[Grant Anderson] , quality assurance and test facilities. This tour will let you visit their manufacturing, quality assurance, and test facilities..

Cost: $20. This tour involves a bus ride of approximately 20 minutes each way. Space is limited. Foreign nationals MUST inform us well in advance of the tour or they will be excluded; sorry.