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Rise of the rocket girls : the women who propelled us, from missiles to the moon to Mars /

by Holt, Nathalia [author.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookSeries: Thorndike Press large print popular and narrative nonfiction: Publisher: Farmington Hills, Mich. : Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning, 2016.Edition: Large print edition.Description: 505 pages (large print) : illustrations ; 23 cm.ISBN: 9781410491374 (hardcover); 1410491374 (hardcover).Subject(s): Jet Propulsion Laboratory (U.S.) -- Officials and employees -- Biography | Jet Propulsion Laboratory (U.S.) -- History | United States. National Aeronautics and Space Administration -- Officials and employees -- Biography | Jet Propulsion Laboratory (U.S.) | United States. National Aeronautics and Space Administration | United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration -- Officials and employees -- Biography | Explorer 1 (Artificial satellite.) | 1900-1999 | Women scientists -- United States -- Biography | Women computer engineers -- United States -- Biography | Women mathematicians -- United States -- Biography | Women in computer science -- United States -- Biography | Women computer programmers -- United States -- Biography | Rocketry -- United States -- History -- 20th century | Astronautics -- United States -- History -- 20th century | Large type books | Astronautics | Employees | Large type books | Rocketry | Women computer engineers | Women computer programmers | Women in computer science | Women mathematicians | Women scientists | Redstone missile | United States | United States | Biographies | Biographies | Biography | History | Large type books
Contents:
Preface -- January 1958 : launch day -- 1940s -- Up, up, and away -- Headed west -- 1950s -- Rockets rising -- Miss guided missile -- Holding back -- Ninety days and ninety minutes -- Moonglow -- 1960s -- Analog overlords -- Planetary pull -- The last queen of outer space -- 1970s : today -- Men are from mars -- Look like a girl -- Epilogue.
Summary: In the 1940s and 50s, when the newly minted Jet Propulsion Laboratory needed quick-thinking mathematicians to calculate velocities and plot trajectories, they recruited an elite group of young women -- known as human computers -- who, with only pencil, paper, and mathematical prowess, transformed rocket design, helped bring about the first American ballistic missiles. But they were never interested in developing weapons, their hearts lay in the dream of space exploration. So when the JPL became part of a new agency called NASA, the women worked on the first probes to the moon, Venus, Mars, and beyond. Later, as digital computers largely replaced human ones, JPL was unique in training and retaining its brilliant pool of women. They became the first computer programmers and engineers, and through their efforts, we launched the ships that showed us the contours of our solar system. Rise of the Rocket Girls tells the stories of these women who broke the boundaries of both gender and science.
List(s) this item appears in: WOMEN IN SCIENCE Awards: Click to open in new window
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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 629.47 HOL (Browse shelf) Available 39270004561134

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

A New York Times BestsellerAn Amazon Best Book of April 2016The riveting true story of the women who launched America into space.In the 1940s and 50s, when the newly minted Jet Propulsion Laboratory needed mathematicians to calculate velocities and plot trajectories, they recruited an elite group of young women who, with only pencil, paper, and mathematical prowess, transformed rocket design and made exploration of the solar system possible.

Includes bibliographical references (pages 457-501).

Preface -- January 1958 : launch day -- 1940s -- Up, up, and away -- Headed west -- 1950s -- Rockets rising -- Miss guided missile -- Holding back -- Ninety days and ninety minutes -- Moonglow -- 1960s -- Analog overlords -- Planetary pull -- The last queen of outer space -- 1970s : today -- Men are from mars -- Look like a girl -- Epilogue.

In the 1940s and 50s, when the newly minted Jet Propulsion Laboratory needed quick-thinking mathematicians to calculate velocities and plot trajectories, they recruited an elite group of young women -- known as human computers -- who, with only pencil, paper, and mathematical prowess, transformed rocket design, helped bring about the first American ballistic missiles. But they were never interested in developing weapons, their hearts lay in the dream of space exploration. So when the JPL became part of a new agency called NASA, the women worked on the first probes to the moon, Venus, Mars, and beyond. Later, as digital computers largely replaced human ones, JPL was unique in training and retaining its brilliant pool of women. They became the first computer programmers and engineers, and through their efforts, we launched the ships that showed us the contours of our solar system. Rise of the Rocket Girls tells the stories of these women who broke the boundaries of both gender and science.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

In her latest offering, Holt (Cured: The People Who Defeated HIV) turns her attention to the women who served as "human computers"-people who computed data-for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), focusing on the laboratory's inception in the 1940s through the 1960s. These women did not occupy the usual positions open to females at the time (secretaries, nurses, or teachers) but instead worked alongside engineers to calculate trajectories, identify how rocket fuel could make missiles fly, and analyze vast experimental data. The book discusses JPL's evolution from an army-funded missile lab to its place in the NASA space program, and how each stage in the transition affected the lives and work of the individuals who would later become computer programmers and engineers themselves. Holt focuses on key figures in the JPL computing department, offering a personalized look at these unconventional women and their roles in launching humanity skyward. VERDICT Holt seamlessly blends the technical aspects of rocket science and mathematics with an engaging narrative, making for an imminently readable and well-researched work. Highly recommended to readers with an interest in the U.S. space program, -women's history, and 20th-century history. [See "Editors' Spring Picks," LJ 2/15/16, p. 28.]-Crystal Goldman, Univ. of California, San Diego Lib. © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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