by courtesy of Merrick Peirce
by Jason Ahrns
by Merrick Pierce
by Merrick Pierce
by Chuck Johnson
by Don Hampton

Welcome to Poker Flat

FREE SUMMER WALKING TOURS ARE BACK ! Please see our Facebook page for dates and information.

Welcome to Poker Flat Research Range – the largest land-based rocket research range in the world and the only high-latitude rocket range in the United States.

Poker Flat Research Range is perfectly located in Interior Alaska. From this site, rockets can launch and fly over the sparsely populated tundra hundreds of miles north of the range with special permission from federal, state and tribal landowners. Additionally, the range is situated beneath the auroral oval – a ring across the circumpolar north where auroras typically occur – providing ample opportunities to continue scientists’ examination of the aurora. Most sounding rocket launches occur between January and March and scientists come from around the world to use the facility for their research projects. Subscribe to launch updates: Text PFRRLAUNCHES to 33222. Follow current activities on Facebook and watch live broadcasts dring the launch window on YouTube @ PokerFlatRR

General Information

Poker Flat Research Range is the world's only scientific rocket launching facility owned by a university. Poker Flat is operated by the University of Alaska's Geophysical Institute under contract to NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, which is part of the Goddard Space Flight Center. In addition to launching sounding rockets, Poker Flat is home to many scientific instruments designed to study the arctic atmosphere and ionosphere.

Contact Us

Physical Address

Poker Flat Research Range 30 Mile Steese Hwy Fairbanks, AK 99712

Geophysical Institute

Poker Flat Research Range Geophysical Institute 2156 Koyukuk Drive P.O. Box 757320 Fairbanks, AK 99775-7320

Phone Numbers

Our hours are from 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday, Alaska time. Office: (907) 455-2110 Fax: (907) 455-2120


The following staff are located at Poker Flat and may be reached at (907) 455-2110.

Kathe Rich
Range Manager

Bob Valdez
Assistant Range Manager

Charlotte Conley
Admin Assistant

Tony Tyree
Facilities Maintenance Lead

Dave Hill
Senior Telecommunications Specialist

Gary Taube
Facilities Maintenance

Dr. Don Hampton
Chief Scientist - Optical Science Manager

Dr. Rich Collins
Poker Flat Research Range


Kevin Abnett, Contractor
Optics & Communications Engineer

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