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AZPCA Hot Air Tour

October 1, 2021 October 4, 2021

Join us for the third “Hot Air Tour” to New Mexico.  We will be leaving Phoenix for Socorro, NM on Friday, October 1, taking a scenic route through eastern Arizona and Western New Mexico to Socorro.  On the way there will visit the Very Large Array of radio telescopes for a tour, if their restrictions allow.  We will be staying at the Socorro Best Western Hotel.  Friday evening, we will have dinner at a restaurant near the hotel followed by a presentation on the Atomic Bomb and the effects of radiation presented by Steve Sapareto (our first “hot air” event).

Saturday morning, we will drive into White Sands Missile Range to the Trinity Bomb site and museum where the first atomic bomb was detonated. It is only open to the public two days per year (don’t worry, radiation levels are very low). We will leave the site about noon time for lunch and a scenic drive to Albuquerque arriving in time to visit the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History for a guided tour before checking into our hotel at the Albuquerque Marriott Pyramid North.  Dinner will be on your own at one of the nearby restaurants.

Getting up very early Sunday we will watch the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Mass Ascension, one of the largest balloon launches in the world from a good vantage point (possibly the Albuquerque Porsche dealership). More than 700 balloons from all over the world launch from a 78-acre launch field (54 football fields) at the 365-acre Balloon Fiesta Park. Those interested can also join us to meet the Lambda Car Club for the Fiesta of Wheels, a car display right on the balloon launch grounds, displaying our cars along with over 200 others.  This will provide free admission to the balloon grounds. The rest of the day will be available for sightseeing followed by an evening dinner and viewing of the Balloon Glow and Fireworks at the International Balloon Museum Foundation. We will return home on Monday as a group or individually.

The registration fee of $145 will cover the VLA tour, Friday night dinner and presentation, the National Museum of Nuclear Science tour, and International Balloon Museum banquet and tour.  All other meals and lodging will be at your expense.

Those interested in arranging balloon rides may make arrangements on their own. Information will be provided when you register on

Lodging information will be provided when you register for this event on Click on the “Register” link to the right.