Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars


Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars
The riveting true story of the women who launched America into space.

In the 1940s and 50s, when the newly minted Jet Propulsion Laboratory needed quick-thinking mathematicians to calculate velocities and plot trajectories, they didn't turn to male graduates. Rather, they recruited an elite group of young women who, with only pencil, paper, and mathematical prowess, transformed rocket design, helped bring about the first American satellites, and made the exploration of the solar system possible.

For the first time, Rise of the Rocket Girls tells the stories of these women--known as "human computers"--who broke the boundaries of both gender and science. Based on extensive research and interviews with all the living members of the team, Rise of the Rocket Girls offers a unique perspective on the role of women in science: both where we've been, and the far reaches of space to which we're heading.

Details Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars

Title Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars
AuthorNathalia Holt
Release Date5th Apr 2016
PublisherLittle, Brown and Company
ISBN-100316338923
FormatHardcover
LanguageEnglish
Pages352 pages
Rating

8 reviews on “Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars

  1. Antonio Paola

    I have read this book twice already. I honestly loved it in so many ways. It’s one of those rare, well-written, well-researched books that serves as a great tribute to these women; a tribute to the women pioneers of space flight. Nathalia, thank you for sharing their story!…

  2. Kindle Customer

    I was a “rocket girl” at Charles Draper Lab at MIT in the 60s. My job title was “Junior Computer”. Yes, I was a computer. Really excited about this book!…

  3. Lynette

    It’s been a while since I’ve read a book, cover to cover, in one sitting (let alone, write a review). This book is phenomenal, and seamlessly weaves together shifting gender norms, science, and history. Ms. Holt brings the stories, lives, and accomplishments of these women to life. The struggles and triumphs experienced by this extraordinary group of women resonate with young women today. I’m getting ready to read it again!…

  4. Customer

    I highly recommend this book! The author clearly put her heart into this book and took the time to deeply research these amazing women. It has been a long time since I found a book that I could barely put down….

  5. Sally Jones

    This book was so much fun to read. Yes, it was probably most interesting to geeks like me. The author touched on the physics and math, enough to keep people who understand such things interested, but I don’t think it had too much detail for people without that background. I started work in the early 1970s when things had begun to change. And yet, the only job I could find was as a computer programmer, not as a physicist. And when I got my second job, the manager who interviewed me actually asked me if my husband had tenure. I felt that talking about their family lives was crucial to the story – they were leaders in the changes so women could work after they were married and/or had children….

  6. Customer

    When I was 10 years old then I borrowed “Women In Space” from the local public library as I read it as I remember so well, I like “Rise of the Rocket Girls” at best, then the women engineers and women scientists in NASA-ESA are the “human computers” by earning the nickname with their outstanding mathematical skills, and with their best backgrounds of Biology, Astrobiology, Astrophysics, Astromony, and other scientific fields at best. Christa…

  7. Daniel Ethier

    I really enjoyed this book. I enjoy reading histories of the space program. This book covers the history of JPL from the very beginning, told through the lives of the computers, women who did the serious mathematics needed to compute trajectories, model rocket thrust, etc. These women were at the center of everything from the first successful U.S. satellite to all the space probes to the moon, Venus, Mars, and the Voyagers. But this is also a story about women’s experience in the 1940s through the 1970s. When one of the computers became pregnant, there was no maternity leave back then. They just had to quit. Some returned. Daycare was getting your mother or a neighbor to watch your child.Just an amazing story about some amazingly talented women who did amazing things….

  8. Lynne Spreen

    While the STEM debate rages, Rise of the Rocket Girls shatters the American stereotype that girls can’t do numbers. Rocket Girls tells the story of California’s JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) from the early days (1940s) when the main goal was to strap a rocket onto a plane to make it go faster, to the present time of space exploration. In 1940, when the guys were shooting rockets out of a dry canyon in southern California, one of them just happened to be married to a girl who was good with numbers. Barbara calculated speed, trajectory, combustion, and other factors for rocket and propellant development, and she set the tone for future projects.As the work grew, and young JPL expanded, the number of women “computers” (they computed! The term predates the machines) grew. The woman who was in charge of the “computers,” Macie Roberts, hired only women for the department, because she wanted to preserve the camaraderie and team spirit so essential to this critical work. Thus, in a benevolen…

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