This story is not about space, exactly. But it is about rockets—the model kind—and the kids who may grow up to launch the real thing into space someday. A trio of teenage Texas model rocketeers beat out teams from France and the U.K. to claim top honors at this year’s International Rocketry Competition. The U.S. team, from a 4-H club in Georgetown, Texas, won the June 21st fly-off at the Paris Air Show. They earned their spot in the international showdown by besting 99 other American teams. The contest required rocket kids to send a raw egg into the sky, as close to 750 feet altitude as possible, in a flight lasting between 48 and 50 seconds—and bring the egg safely back to earth. Brothers Mark and Matthew Janecka and their teammate Daniel Kelton won the international contest with a flight that only peaked at 703 feet, but lasted a textbook 49.18 seconds. After the competition the Texas teens got to meet with French president Francois Hollande. The president wore a dark suit and tie, and the boys from Texas wore windbreakers and cowboy hats. Fitting for space cowboys. —John Matson [The above text is a transcript of this podcast.] Follow Scientific American on Twitter @SciAm and @SciamBlogs. Visit ScientificAmerican.com for the latest in science, health and technology news.
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