Photos: The Rocketeers of the Mojave Desert

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Call it the Cape Canaveral of the desert. Twice a year, hundreds of amateur rocket enthusiasts with the Rocketry Organization of California gather on a dry lake bed in the Mojave to assemble rockets and launch them thousands of feet into the wild blue yonder.

The gathering, called ROCstock (tagline: “peace, love and rockets”), is part science fair, part party, part celebration of ingenuity and engineering know-how. It’s also an event that harkens back to the earlier days of the aerospace industry, where people tinkering in garages, barns and workshops built machines that helped humanity capture the sky.