Hurricane Mesa Test Track, Utah

Hurricane Mesa Test Track is a research and development, test and evaluation (R&D,T&E) facility, located at a dramatic and remote site, atop a mesa in southern Utah. The primary feature of the installation is a 12,000 foot-long test track, the only privately owned supersonic test track facility in the country, and which is used for military and aviation-related research. The private and secure mesa-top installation has been dubbed Space Mesa by some area residents, who have grown used to seeing unusual lights and hearing loud reports coming from the facility. From the ground, all that can be seen are a few water towers and camera stations, and a trailer that projects boldly off the edge of the mesa. The trailer is apparently used as an employee lounge. A dirt road snakes up the edge of the mesa, leading to the unmanned, unmarked, and locked gate.The track is the primary testbed at Hurricane. The third largest in the country (there is a 20,000-foot track at China Lake Naval Weapons Center, in California, and a 50,000-foot track at Holloman Air Force Base, in New Mexico), it has been used in developing ejection seats and other aviation-related systems.