TEL AVIV (Aug. 23)
A two-stage solid-fuel rocket soared 13 miles into the atmosphere over Israel on Wednesday for no loftier purpose than getting good grades for 14 graduating students at Haifa’s Technion-Israel Institute of Technology who designed and built it.
The rocket, dubbed “Technion 90,” was in fact their final exam for bachelor of science degrees, awarded upon completion of the four year course at Technion’s School of Aviation and Space Engineering.
The 11-foot rocket, weighing 242 pounds, was designed as a meteorological research project and carried instruments in its nose capsule to measure atmospheric pressures and temperatures.
The capsule also contained a parachute, which brought the rocket gently back to Earth after a six-minute flight at three times the speed of sound. It was recovered at sea.