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Rocket girl : the story of Mary Sherman Morgan, America's first female rocket scientist /

by Morgan, George D.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Amherst, New York : Prometheus Books, 2013Description: 325, 8 unnmbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 23 cm.ISBN: 9781616147396 (pbk.) :; 1616147393 (pbk.); 9781616147402 (ebook); 1616147407 (ebook).Title notes: $18.00 prolam 9-2013 (db)Subject(s): Morgan, Mary Sherman, 1921-2004 | Rocketry -- Biography | Women scientists -- Biography | Rocketry -- United States -- History -- 20th century | SCIENCE -- History | BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY -- Science & Technology | SCIENCE -- Chemistry -- GeneralOnline resources: Cover image
Contents:
Foreword / Ashley Stroupe -- Chapter 1. This Is a Story -- Chapter 2. Prairie Girl -- Chapter 3. The Raketenflugplatz -- Chapter 4. The ABC's of Milking Cows -- Chapter 5. I Have No Idea What You're Talking About -- Chapter 6. "Mother Does Not Abide Photography" -- Chapter 7. The Great Escape -- Chapter 8. A Little of This, a Little of That -- Chapter 9. An Odd Number -- Chapter 10. Hidden Fortress -- Chapter 11. A New Kind of War -- Chapter 12. Whitewashed in White Sands -- Chapter 13. Alias Chief Designer -- Chapter 14. Red -- Chapter 15. Politics, Philosophy, Television, and Cush' Sobash'ya -- Chapter 16. Your Very Best Man -- Chapter 17. Welcome to the Monkey Cage -- Chapter 18. The Mysterious Unknown Propellant Project -- Chapter 19. Smoke and Fire -- Chapter 20. Don't Drink the Rocket Fuel -- Chapter 21. Pusk! -- Chapter 22. The Dutchman Cometh -- Chapter 23. 310 at 1.75 and 0.8615 for 155 -- Chapter 24. The Law of Unintended Consequences -- Chapter 25. Satellite without a Name -- Chapter 26. Wings of the Condor -- Author's Note -- Acknowledgments -- Notes -- Index.
Summary: "Blending a fascinating personal history with dramatic historical events, this book brings long-overdue attention to a brilliant woman whose work proved essential for America's early space program. This is the extraordinary true story of America's first female rocket scientist. Told by her son, it describes Mary Sherman Morgan's crucial contribution to launching America's first satellite and the author's labyrinthine journey to uncover his mother's lost legacy--one buried deep under a lifetime of secrets political, technological, and personal. In 1938, a young German rocket enthusiast named Wernher von Braun had dreams of building a rocket that could fly him to the moon. In Ray, North Dakota, a young farm girl named Mary Sherman was attending high school. In an age when girls rarely dreamed of a career in science, Mary wanted to be a chemist. A decade later the dreams of these two disparate individuals would coalesce in ways neither could have imagined. World War II and the Cold War space race with the Russians changed the fates of both von Braun and Mary Sherman Morgan. When von Braun and other top engineers could not find a solution to the repeated failures that plagued the nascent US rocket program, North American Aviation, where Sherman Morgan then worked, was given the challenge. Recognizing her talent for chemistry, company management turned the assignment over to young Mary. In the end, America succeeded in launching rockets into space, but only because of the joint efforts of the brilliant farm girl from North Dakota and the famous German scientist. While von Braun went on to become a high-profile figure in NASA's manned space flight, Mary Sherman Morgan and her contributions fell into obscurity--until now."-- Provided by publisher.
List(s) this item appears in: Univ. of Stories-NF | WOMEN IN SCIENCE
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Item type Home library Collection Shelving location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Books Books Altadena Main Library
Adult Collection Adult NonFiction 509.2 MOR (Browse shelf) Available 39270003732983

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

" AN UNSUNG HEROINE OF THE SPACE AGE HER STORY FINALLY TOLD. /B> This is the extraordinary true story of America's first female rocket scientist. Told by her son, it describes Mary Sherman Morgan's crucial contribution to launching America's first satellite and the author's labyrinthine journey to uncover his mother's lost legacy--one buried deep under a lifetime of secrets political, technological, and personal. In 1938, a young German rocket enthusiast named Wernher von Braun had dreams of building a rocket that could fly him to the moon. In Ray, North Dakota, a young farm girl named Mary Sherman was attending high school. In an age when girls rarely dreamed of a career in science, Mary wanted to be a chemist. A decade later the dreams of these two disparate individuals would coalesce in ways neither could have imagined. World War II and the Cold War space race with the Russians changed the fates of both von Braun and Mary Sherman Morgan. When von Braun and other top engineers could not find a solution to the repeated failures that plagued the nascent US rocket program, North American Aviation, where Sherman Morgan then worked, was given the challenge. Recogni

$18.00 prolam 9-2013 (db)

Includes bibliographical references and index.

"Blending a fascinating personal history with dramatic historical events, this book brings long-overdue attention to a brilliant woman whose work proved essential for America's early space program. This is the extraordinary true story of America's first female rocket scientist. Told by her son, it describes Mary Sherman Morgan's crucial contribution to launching America's first satellite and the author's labyrinthine journey to uncover his mother's lost legacy--one buried deep under a lifetime of secrets political, technological, and personal. In 1938, a young German rocket enthusiast named Wernher von Braun had dreams of building a rocket that could fly him to the moon. In Ray, North Dakota, a young farm girl named Mary Sherman was attending high school. In an age when girls rarely dreamed of a career in science, Mary wanted to be a chemist. A decade later the dreams of these two disparate individuals would coalesce in ways neither could have imagined. World War II and the Cold War space race with the Russians changed the fates of both von Braun and Mary Sherman Morgan. When von Braun and other top engineers could not find a solution to the repeated failures that plagued the nascent US rocket program, North American Aviation, where Sherman Morgan then worked, was given the challenge. Recognizing her talent for chemistry, company management turned the assignment over to young Mary. In the end, America succeeded in launching rockets into space, but only because of the joint efforts of the brilliant farm girl from North Dakota and the famous German scientist. While von Braun went on to become a high-profile figure in NASA's manned space flight, Mary Sherman Morgan and her contributions fell into obscurity--until now."-- Provided by publisher.

Foreword / Ashley Stroupe -- Chapter 1. This Is a Story -- Chapter 2. Prairie Girl -- Chapter 3. The Raketenflugplatz -- Chapter 4. The ABC's of Milking Cows -- Chapter 5. I Have No Idea What You're Talking About -- Chapter 6. "Mother Does Not Abide Photography" -- Chapter 7. The Great Escape -- Chapter 8. A Little of This, a Little of That -- Chapter 9. An Odd Number -- Chapter 10. Hidden Fortress -- Chapter 11. A New Kind of War -- Chapter 12. Whitewashed in White Sands -- Chapter 13. Alias Chief Designer -- Chapter 14. Red -- Chapter 15. Politics, Philosophy, Television, and Cush' Sobash'ya -- Chapter 16. Your Very Best Man -- Chapter 17. Welcome to the Monkey Cage -- Chapter 18. The Mysterious Unknown Propellant Project -- Chapter 19. Smoke and Fire -- Chapter 20. Don't Drink the Rocket Fuel -- Chapter 21. Pusk! -- Chapter 22. The Dutchman Cometh -- Chapter 23. 310 at 1.75 and 0.8615 for 155 -- Chapter 24. The Law of Unintended Consequences -- Chapter 25. Satellite without a Name -- Chapter 26. Wings of the Condor -- Author's Note -- Acknowledgments -- Notes -- Index.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Foreword (p. 7)
  • Chapter 1 This Is a Story (p. 11)
  • Chapter 2 Prairie Girl (p. 17)
  • Chapter 3 The Raketenflugplatz (p. 25)
  • Chapter 4 The ABC's of Milking Cows (p. 29)
  • Chapter 5 I Have No Idea What You're Talking About (p. 35)
  • Chapter 6 "Mother Does Not Abide Photography" (p. 43)
  • Chapter 7 The Great Escape (p. 67)
  • Chapter 8 A Little of This, a Little of That (p. 79)
  • Chapter 9 An Odd Number (p. 95)
  • Chapter 10 Hidden Fortress (p. 111)
  • Chapter 11 A New Kind of War (p. 131)
  • Chapter 12 Whitewashed in White Sands (p. 145)
  • Chapter 13 Alias Chief Designer (p. 151)
  • Chapter 14 Red (p. 161)
  • Chapter 15 Politics, Philosophy, Television, and Cush' Sobash'ya (p. 167)
  • Chapter 16 Your Very Best Man (p. 171)
  • Chapter 17 Welcome to the Monkey Cage (p. 185)
  • Chapter 18 The Mysterious Unknown Propellant Project (p. 199)
  • Chapter 19 Smoke and Fire (p. 221)
  • Chapter 20 Don't Drink the Rocket Fuel (p. 237)
  • Chapter 21 Pusk! (p. 247)
  • Chapter 22 The Dutchman Cometh (p. 253)
  • Chapter 23 310 at 1.75 and 0.8615 for 155 (p. 263)
  • Chapter 24 The Law of Unintended Consequences (p. 267)
  • Chapter 25 Satellite without a Name (p. 273)
  • Chapter 26 Wings of the Condor (p. 283)
  • Author's Note (p. 295)
  • Acknowledgments (p. 297)
  • Notes (p. 299)
  • Index (p. 311)

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Morgan (playwright in residence, Cal Tech) is the son of rocket scientist Mary Sherman Morgan (1921-2004). Here he recounts the role she played in enabling the rocket launch that carried America's first satellite into space in 1958. She is credited with inventing Hydyne, the liquid fuel used to lift Explorer 1 into orbit. The strength of this biography rests in how the author contextualizes his mother's story within the better-known one of Wernher von Braun during NASA's early days. This is an accessible and enjoyable read, covering Mary Sherman Morgan's young life in North Dakota through her career working as a chemist for North American Aviation. Morgan initially told his mother's story in a play of the same title; his playwriting skills are evident here. Unfortunately, given his mother's preference for privacy, as well as the secrecy surrounding early rocket projects, plus a dearth of archival sources, the author turns to dramatizing some of his narrative with fictionalized dialog. VERDICT The scarcity of documentation raises questions about historical accuracy here, circumstances that detract from the work but remind us of the need to record and credit adequately the contributions of women scientists, like Morgan, to obtain the fullest account in our history of science collections. Recommended.-Faye Chadwell, Oregon State Univ. Lib., Corvallis (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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