Photograph by Abram Young
Floating at the Edge of Space
The Mission Integration Lab (MIL) will accommodate balloon-borne astronomy. Balloon-borne missions fill an important niche between ground-based observatories and space telescopes, providing an ideal way to deploy telescopes and other instruments to altitudes where they experience less interference from the Earth's atmosphere.
A Dynamic New Location
MIL is currently under construction at the UA Tech Park at The Bridges, just three miles south of main campus. The building comprises a tall, hangar-like “high bay,” where researchers and students can work on instruments, telescopes and high-altitude balloon technology. The facility will make UArizona even more competitive for top-dollar research missions such as NASA’s Long Duration Balloon flight missions.
Inspired by Constellations
The design of the main building reveals shadow lines, intersecting and extending from various nodes, that play across the building's face. This feature hints at the research and fabrication of astronomic instruments conducted within.
Betsy Cantwell, Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation
"The Mission Integration Lab expands UArizona’s capacity for space-based research requiring high bay facilities," said Elizabeth "Betsy" Cantwell, UArizona's senior vice president for research and innovation. "Not only will this facility enable UArizona to remain at the forefront of Research I institutions for astronomy, it will also open opportunities to partner with key space-related industries and drive economic development in southern Arizona."
UArizona's Balloon-borne missions include: