The CMN team's rocket, the Golden Eagle, not only achieved its goal, it exceeded it, by soaring to an altitude of 5,000 feet. The students, faculty and staff were ecstatic in their victory "with our little wooden and cardboard rocket" they called "the little rocket that could," over high-tech contenders constructed of fiberglass and carbon-fiber.
It is not surprising that the team succeeded. Indians have an innate natural intelligence and had an intimate relationship with the stars since prehistory. Plains Indians prepared winter counts, or histories of their tribes, based on the astral calendar; petroglyphs are believed to convey celestial events; and tepees and hogans were oriented to the stars and designed both to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The stars hold a prominent place in Native spirituality and provide inspiration for participation in the great order of the universe. Many cultures believe that heavenly bodies are ancestors or carry their ancestors' spirits, and Indian astronomers chronicled events in the universe.