Students from Israel’s Hebrew U Successfully Launch Rocket for Science
Hebrew U takes back negative connotation of word ‘rocket’ by launching one for the sake of science; Rockets can have positive implications for the fields of science and technology
By LILIA GAUFBERG
In a first, students from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Rocketry Club have successfully launched a non-military rocket from Kibbutz Bet Nir with the aim of making it clear that rockets can be used to learn about and advance science – they are not just a weapon of war.
The rocket reached a peak altitude of approximately 720 meters (about 2362 feet) at a speed of approximately 340 km per hour (211 miles). As the rocket blasted off, students looked at scientific data concerning the flight, which was transmitted to a ground station during the launch. This included tests and measurements of the rockets’ reach, speed and more.
Dozens of onlookers, composed partly of representatives from the academic world, science and technology industries, and the firework and pyrotechnic company Zik Dinur, came to observe the rocket launch.
The rocket was brought back to the ground using a parachute, meant to reduce the falling speed so as not to damage the rocket. The project was fulfilled in part with the help of various companies and organizations, such as the Technion, IAI, and Rafael.
The main purpose of the launch was to counter the negative connotation of the word ‘rocket,’ which, especially in Israel, is largely associated with war and terror. Rockets can have positive implications for the fields of science and technology.
This is the third year that this club’s enrichment program is taking place at the Racah Institute of Physics of Hebrew University. Any full-time student whose course of study is somewhat related to the rocket club’s activities is able to participate.
The Vice President of Research and Development at Hebrew University and a member of the club’s steering committee, Prof. Reem Sari, noted that “such a club allows for a slightly less formal interaction, and to hear from researchers and content experts about themselves [and] about the research and experiments they perform.
“In addition, students experience teamwork and bring the diverse knowledge they acquired during the degree to the expression on the way to solving a real engineering problem,” Sari added.
The rocket was named RAM-1 after Givat Ram, the place where the rocket was assembled, as well as the Hebrew word ‘ram’, which means “high” because the rocket is meant to fly high. The ‘1’ in RAM-1 emphasizes that this rocket is the first rocket of its kind.
What a booming success!