Rocketry Club ready to take flight this weekend


TUCSON, Arizona – On March 28 and 29, hundreds of rockets will soar into the Tucson sky at Desert Heat 2015. Rocket enthusiasts from around the Southwest will gather for this annual two-day rocketry event, where there’s no cost to watch, and kids always fly free.

The rockets that will be launched vary in size from ones smaller than you little finger to 20-foot-tall monsters with a roar that can be heard for miles. Rocketry and food vendors are on-site both days.

The Desert Heat 2015 range will open at 9 a.m. each day. Rockets are typically launched every few minutes, until about 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 1 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free, there’s no charge for parking, and youth under 18-years-old launch rockets at no charge. If you don’t have your own rocket to fly, we’ll even rent you one for $2 per launch.

A highlight of this two-day exhibition of rocketry will be a night launch on Saturday from dusk to 9 p.m. If you’ve never been to a night launch, it’s a unique experience that requires special permission from the FAA. Desert Heat is known for its night launches, which typically feature more rockets than any other night launch in the country.

This is the largest rocket launch in Southern Arizona, and the airspace above the launch site will be cleared by the FAA to 6500 feet above ground level.

For best viewing, bring a lawn chair. Since there is limited shade at the launch site, a hat and sunscreen are also recommended. Please leave pets at home, as the sound of the larger rockets launching can frighten them.

The launch site is at 3250 N. Reservation Road, between Manville Road and Mile Wide Road where the Tucson International Modelplex Park Association flies remote-controlled airplanes. Ramadas, restrooms and a parking area are available. Camping is allowed, including RVs, but there are no RV hook-ups.

Tucson is home to one of the best rocket launch facilities in the country, with an enthusiastic and dedicated group of rocketeers ready to teach both kids and adults about the rocketry hobby. Come spend the day at Desert Heat 2015 for a fun, free day watching the spectacular successes – and failures – that make rocketry such a fascinating hobby.