WASHINGTON (Jul. 5)
Israel’s launching of a multi-stage sounding rocket was termed today a “wonderful achievement” and a tribute to Israeli scientific progress by a spokesman for the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Agency.
NASA scientists meanwhile commented that if Israel is capable of building successful rockets for scientific research purposes, it is also able to construct rockets for military usage provided Israel is willing to devote adequate time, money, and scientific personnel to military rocketry.
If Israel’s current atomic research succeeds, a nuclear warhead is conceivable for Israel, U.S. scientists said. However, they estimated that such military rockets, equipped with nuclear warheads, would cost Israel a “fortune” and take “a few years.”
Lauding Israel’s rocket achievement, a NASA spokesman said “any first experience in rocketry is difficult.” It was pointed out that if Israel aspires to launching a satellite into orbit, it would take years of further research and work. American scientists commenced experimentation with sounding rockets, like the one Israel just launched, back in 1946. It was 1958 before a satellite was successfully launched by America.
United States Government scientists said they had not realized the rapid advancement of Israeli technology.