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MIDDLETON—Dr. Eric Rice, beloved husband, father, son, brother, badger football player, rocket scientist and entrepreneur of Middleton, Wis., …

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With representatives from NASA, the Air Force and others looking on, Madison's Orbital Technologies Corp. (Orbitec) installed its novel engine into a demonstration rocket and shot it into the skies over California's Mojave Desert last Saturday.

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Orbital Technologies Corp., a high-tech development company based in Madison, has won federal contracts to provide engineering support and flight hardware related to life-science activities at the International Space Station.

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Orbital Technologies Corp. received the first of two rockets that could someday send the Madison company’s fortunes sky high — or at least fulfill the dreams of its rocket scientists.

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A dozen teachers from the Madison area and around the state learned about nose cones, payloads and igniters as they built rockets and then fired them high into the sky above Orbital Technologies Corp. (Orbitec) on Saturday. The Middleton space-focused business hosted a daylong workshop in rocket science for educators workshop.

Madison-based Orbital Technologies Corp. (Orbitec) is one of five companies nationwide to be awarded a piece of a five-year contract worth a total of up to $50 million to develop space propulsion systems for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

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