The famous Bonneville Speedway was the site of the annual Hellfire event hosted by the Utah Rocket Club over the weekend. It’s the club’s largest event of the year and several of the members I talked to say this was the biggest they’ve seen in recent years. Randall Redd is one of the charter members of the club and the unofficial ambassador.
He says, “This is our biggest event and we try to make it a big spectacular event that everyone wants to come to.”
The event got underway last Thursday and finished Sunday afternoon.
“They just keep going all day long and you can’t enough, (Redd pauses for rocket blast) after three or four days you get a little tired but after that, you know, wait a month and your back at it again,” he says.
The Utah Rocket Club operates under strict guidelines from the National Association of Rocketry and Tripoli, an association of high power amateur rocketeers. The rockets range in size and price from 10 dollars to thousands of dollars and from a few cents per launch up to more than a thousand dollars per launch. The largest rockets reach altitudes of 25 thousand feet in only a few seconds.
Redd says rocketeers enjoy the successful launches and the not so successful.
“People don’t go to the races to see the cars go around the track, they go for the crashes,”he laughs.
Redd says club members are always supportive and anyone is welcome to join. The Utah Rocket Club began in 1979 and currently lists about 80 members.