Blast Off With the Wasatch Camera Club


Event Details

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Join us at the Bonneville Salt Flats to witness and photograph the launching of various sizes of amateur rockets. Saturday, July 31 is the date for the LDRS 39 (Large and Dangerous Rocket Ships) event hosted by the Utah Rocket Club.

At this event, amateur rocketeers will be launching rockets sized between 2 feet and 10 feet high. These can travel quite high as the FAA has granted a 25,000 foot ceiling. The smaller rockets will launch from as close as 50′ away from the spectator area; while the larger rocket launches will be 100 to 400 yards away. More information about the event can be found at LDRS 39.

This is the last time the Utah Rocket Club will be able to use the Salt Flats for their launches. Due to the constant growth of the Salt Lake International Airport, the FAA can no longer grant the needed airspace access for the event.

So come with us to photograph a unique event at a unique location (and for the last time!). The launch site will be open from 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM and the WCC will meet there starting at 9:00 AM. See more details below. Attendance is for Wasatch Camera Club members only and registration will be required. Registration is open now and will close at 8am on July 30th.

The Nitty Gritty Salty Details:

  • A cone pathway will demark the route to about 5 miles out to the launch site. Be aware that driving on the salt may necessitate one or more car washes to remove the accumulated salt.
  • There will not be a fee charged by the WCC or the event.  Parking is free.
  • Several dozen vendors will have booths selling various rocket related items.  You can even purchase and launch your own small rocket.
  • Food and drinks will be available from one or more food trucks.  Portable toilets will be on site.
  • It will likely be very hot out on the salt, quite likely 100+. The WCC will provide a shade structure with cold water available.  But each member should also bring their own water and if possible a source of shade. Sunglasses, sunscreen, and hats are highly recommended.  The salt will reflect the sunlight up into your face. And you may want to have a cloth to put over your camera when you’re not shooting, to keep it out of the sun for extended periods.
  • Medium to long telephoto lenses are suggested:100-400mm or longer.  Tripods/monopods aren’t required since it will be very bright and the rockets will be moving very fast;  but they may be handy to support your camera between launches.  Or, you may want a small table or tarp to avoid putting anything onto the salt.
  • Drones require prior permission, for obvious reasons, so perhaps just leave them home.

Even more details are available at the Utah Rocket Club website.

Images copyright Greg Smith