Astro-Physics, Inc
Featured on "John Ratzenberger’s Made in America"
on the Travel Channel

Astro-Physics was featured along with Sub-Zero and Tylenol in season 4, episode 10 of John Ratzenberger's Made in America. The premier broadcast was March 13, 2007. You now have several options to see this show.

A once in a lifetime experience! We couldn’t resist the opportunity to showcase the talent and craftsmanship of the Astro-Physics staff when the segment producer of "John Ratzenberger's Made in America" cable TV program (Travel channel) approached us in the summer of 2006. For the prior four seasons, John Ratzenberger, host of Made in America (remembered by many fans for his portrayal of Cliff Claven on Cheers and the many voices of his characters in all of the Pixar films and his appearance on Dancing with the Stars), and his crew traveled throughout the US, profiling companies manufacturing products that keep our economy rolling. Some companies are well-known American icons like Pepsi and Harley-Davidson, others are more esoteric, like, well, Astro-Physics.

Although famous in the astronomy market for our outstanding telescopes and mountings, Astro-Physics is a virtual unknown to the average person. We are thrilled to introduce the hobby of astronomy to the American public and provide a tie-in with our local celebrity, Jane, a juvenile T-rex housed at our local Burpee Museum of Natural History. We are also proud to represent the manufacturing community of Machesney Park and the greater Rockford area.

On a bright, crisp October morning in 2006, the Made in America trailer pulled into Astro-Physics for a full day of filming. The crew was terrific and put us at ease right away. They were fascinated by astronomy and intrigued by the equipment used to view and photograph the beautiful nebulas and galaxies displayed on our walls. As we toured our facility, they filmed the production staff at work making and assembling telescopes and mounts. Our machining department demonstrated the intricate parts that are made on our CNC lathes and mills. The finishing department put a shine on some parts and showed how a telescope tube goes together. Assembly of our 1200GTO mounts and electronics was featured in the mount department. The highlight for John and the crew was the optical production department. After all, these guys (and a gal) live with cameras and optics. Roland Christen, optician and founder of Astro-Physics explained the exacting process of lens making and testing. The day culminated in a solar observing session under clear skies. Lucky for us, a storm system early in the week broke for the day, though the clouds rolled in as the crew headed down the road.

How can an entire day of filming be summed up in approximately 9 minutes of programming? To find out, watch it online at your convenience, check out one of the links above.

Marjorie and Roland Christen
Astro-Physics, Inc