Rockets to soar to 25,000 feet over the Bonneville Salt Flats at this year’s Hellfire, August 2-5, held each year by the Utah Rocket Club.
Let’s put it in perspective: 25,000 feet is about five miles, or about two thirds of the height where jumbo jets cruise. Yet unlike jetliners, these mega rockets zip to that height in mere seconds. You can see it for yourself August 2-5 at Hellfire, the Utah Rocket Club’s annual launch, held on the Bonneville Salt Flats. It is one of few events where launching rockets to that height is allowed. The club obtains official clearance and pilots are advised to avoid that part of the sky until the event closes. No wonder Hellfire draws specialists and spectators nationwide.
Rockets range from simple one-footers to 15-footers sporting complex high-tech systems. When one of the latter roars into the sky, it’s a thrill like no other. Watching safely from hundreds of feet away, you’ll feel the heat hit you and the ground shake under your feet. Between launches, you can see the rockets close-up and visit with the experts who build and launch them.
Admission is free and the public is welcome. Hellfire takes place Thursday, August 2 through Sunday, August 5 on the Bonneville Salt Flats near Wendover, Utah. (Take Exit 4 on I-80 and follow easy-to-spot signs.) Launches begin daily at around 9 a.m., subject to weather. Bring binoculars, hats, chairs, shade, lots of sunscreen and plenty of drinking water.
For information about the Utah Rocket Club, visit www.uroc.org.
Video from last year’s Hellfire: