France and the space race: French scientists scored a new success on Feb. 22nd when they sent a rat named Hector up to an altitude of 90 miles in a Veronique rocket.
LV press listen to conference speaker
SCU Hector being held high in hand
LV press and photographers
SCU Hector with air force man
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Background: France and the space race: French scientists scored a new success on Feb. 22nd when they sent a rat named Hector up to an altitude of 90 miles in a Veronique rocket. Hector -- launched from the testing base at Hammaguir in the Sahara, and later recovered alive - was on view at a Press conference in Paris on Feb. 23rd, the day after his rocket ride.
During the flight, his breathing and heart reactions were transmitted to the ground by radio, and variations in the electric currents in brain and muscles were also recorded. He parachuted to earth in his nose-cone 30 miles from the launching base, and was specially protected from the effects of the rocket's high acceleration.
The Veronique is a one-stage, liquid fuel rocket which has been in use for the past ten years for upper atmosphere experiments, and is now under consideration as a possible second stage for a European satellite launcher.