Lord, M.G.: Astro turf; the private life of rocket science.

Author:Julian, Janet
Position:Young adult review - Brief article - Book review
 
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LORD, M.G. Astro turf; the private life of rocket science. Walker. 259p. illus, notes, bibliog. index, c2005.0-8027-7739-2. $13.00. SA

Lord's memoir focuses on the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, where her father was an engineer in a male-dominated world. We meet the heroes of early rocket science from the 1930s on, especially Frank Malina, Robert Goddard, Wernher von Braun and J. Robert Oppenheimer. We shudder at the McCarthy witch-hunts of the 1950s. We witness the tragedy of the fire in 1967 that killed three Apollo astronauts as well as the success of the Mariner probes of the '60s and '70s. We rejoice in the slow but steady addition of women to NASA's programs. The first pictures of Mars are a stunning achievement. Mixed in with this history are the personal stories of the people involved, including the author's parents. Her mother died of cancer when the author was a...

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