Dec. 6, 2022

Media Advisory: Mission Integration Lab grand opening at University of Arizona Tech Park at The Bridges

  • What: Grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the University of Arizona Mission Integration Lab, a test facility for balloon-based astronomy
  • When: Monday, Dec. 12, 8:30 a.m.
  • Where: University of Arizona Tech Park at The Bridges, 2620 S. Catalyst Drive
  • RSVP: RSVP by Friday, Dec. 9, to Jessa Turner by calling 520-405-8262 or emailing

TUCSON, Ariz. Members of the media are invited to attend a formal grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Mission Integration Lab, a new research facility at the University of Arizona Tech Park at The Bridges.

The Mission Integration Lab – a UArizona Research, Innovation and Impact building – will allow researchers and engineers to build and test hardware for balloon-borne astronomy experiments and missions. Balloon-borne astronomy fills an important gap between ground-based observatories and space telescopes, allowing for the deployment of telescopes and other instruments to altitudes where they experience less interference from Earth's atmosphere.

The Mission Integration Lab has a tall, hangar-like "high bay," where researchers and students can work on instruments, telescopes and high-altitude balloon technology. The new facility will provide additional space to grow balloon-based astronomy research programs and partnerships for students, faculty, federal agencies and corporations.

Speakers at the event will include:

  • University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins
  • Elizabeth "Betsy" Cantwell, UArizona senior vice president for research and innovation
  • Carol Stewart, vice president of Tech Parks Arizona
  • Jeff Kingsley, associate director of the UArizona Department of Astronomy and Steward Observatory
  • Dan Marrone, professor in the Department of Astronomy and Steward Observatory
  • Kevin Illige, project manager with Concord General Contracting


  • 8:30 a.m. – Networking and refreshments
  • 9 a.m. – Remarks
  • 9:30 a.m. – Ribbon-cutting ceremony led by President Robbins
  • 10 a.m. – Tour of the Mission Integration Lab and unveiling of the completed "Seeds of Wonder" mural by University of Arizona alumna Jessica Gonzales.

This event is open to the public and will be attended by government officials, community members, business leaders, innovators and UArizona senior leadership. Members of the public who wish to attend should RSVP through Eventbrite.

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Media contact:
Jessa B. Turner

Tech Parks Arizona

The University of Arizona, a land-grant university with two independently accredited medical schools, is one of the nation's top 50 public universities, according to U.S. News & World Report. Established in 1885, the university is widely recognized as a student-centric university and has been designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. The university ranked in the top 20 in 2020 in research expenditures among all public universities, according to the National Science Foundation, and is a leading Research 1 institution with $761 million in annual research expenditures. The university advances the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships as a member of the Association of American Universities, the 66 leading public and private research universities in the U.S. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $4.1 billion annually. For the latest on the University of Arizona response to the novel coronavirus, visit the university's COVID-19 webpage.

The University of Arizona Land Acknowledgement