Launch Information

The National Experimental Launch or BALLS 2004 is a three day event running from Friday September 10th until Sunday September 12th. The Black Brant is scheduled to fly on Saturday September 11th.  Sunday is being reserved as the backup day.

Launch Location

From Reno:
Take Interstate 80 East from Reno, about 30 miles from Reno take the Wadsworth/Pryamid Lake exit #43. (The last cheap gas is available at the I80 truck stop at this exit.) Take highway 447 north about 75 miles to Gerlach. As you approach the town of Nixon don't take the Pyramid lake exit, instead drive through Nixon and continue north to Gerlach. About 5 miles before you get to Gerlach you will pass through the company town of Empire. (The store by the road here is the only thing locally that can be considered a supermarket. Stop on your way through to buy ice and anything else you forgot.) Be carefull about your speed going through all these little towns.

From Gerlach (Brunos), go northwest on Highway 447 for one mile to the fork. Take the right-hand fork, Hwy 34, and continue 11 miles to the entrance of the playa.   Note: The 3-mile playa entrance (first turn-off) is not an entrance to the launch site.  The launch site is about 6.3 miles from the entrance.  If you have not been to a Black Rock launch or are not familiar with driving in the desert it would be best if you follow someone who has been there before or at least go out in pairs of vehicles.  If you do not have a GPS it strongly recommended that you do not attempt to find the launch site, follow someone. 

If you'd like to follow the Black Brant out to the launch site see the section on Travel Schedule and Meeting Points.

N 40 degrees 48.5 minutes (40.80833 Degrees N)

W 119 degrees 9.0 minutes (119.15000 Degrees W)


Range Fees

Range fees pay for the BLM fee, and for providing the porta-potties at the launch site.  All who attend must pay the range fee. The fees are:

Driving on the Black Rock Playa

Camping & Lodging

Travel Schedule and Meeting Points