Penrose, Colorado (IP) A toy rocket manufactured by Centuri Engineering Company in the late 1960's has attained Earth orbit. The rocket uses balsa wood for the fins and nose cone and a cardboard tube for the fuselage. It was painted red and black and had a checkered decal on the fuselage.
The motor was an old Centuri B 6-4 engine that apparently malfunctioned and allowed the 12 inch tall rocket to achieve a speed of 18,000 mph. The engine maintained its thrust for 15 minutes.
The rocket was tracked by NORAD and did not pose any threat to the Space Shuttle currently in orbit and attached to the International Space Station. The Federal Aviation Administration and the office of Homeland Security have both investigated the incident and will not press any charges against the operator of the toy rocket.
After orbiting the Earth 3 times the rocket's delay charge ran its course and set off the ejection charge which deployed the parachute and the rocket landed 40 feet away from its point of launch.