An Amazon Best Book of April 2016: Women’s history buffs rejoice! Wonderfully told and intrinsically captivating, this is the story about the elite group of women in the 40s and 50s who broke gender and science boundaries to transform rocket design and lay the groundwork for U.S. space travel. Not only did I geek out on the incredible look into the early days of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, but I also fell in love with these women who quite possibly invented the pant suit, and were vital to America’s space travel.
In the 1940s, when the newly minted Jet Propulsion Laboratory needed quick-thinking mathematicians, they recruited an elite group of young women-known as human computers-who, with only pencil, paper, and brain power, helped bring about America’s first ballistic missiles. But their hearts lay in the dream of space exploration, and when JPL became part of NASA, the computers helped send the first probes to the moon. Later, through their efforts, we launched the ships that showed us the contours of our solar system.
For the first time, Nathalia Holt tells the stories of these women, who charted a course not only for the future of space exploration but also for the prospects of female scientists. Based on extensive research and interviews with the living members of the team, Rise of the Rocket Girls illuminates the role of women in science, both where we’ve been, and the far reaches of space to which we’re heading.
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