North American Aviation Rocketdyne Division Search this
325 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Foreword / Ashley Stroupe -- This Is a Story -- Prairie Girl -- The Raketenflugplatz -- The ABC's of Milking Cows -- I Have No Idea What You're Talking About -- "Mother Does Not Abide Photography" -- The Great Escape -- A Little of This, a Little of That -- An Odd Number -- Hidden Fortress -- A New Kind of War -- Whitewashed in White Sands -- Alias Chief Designer -- Red -- Politics, Philosophy, Television, and Cush' Sobash'ya -- Your Very Best Man -- Welcome to the Monkey Cage -- The Mysterious Unknown Propellant Project -- Smoke and Fire -- Don't Drink the Rocket Fuel -- Pusk! -- The Dutchman Cometh -- 310 at 1.75 and 0.8615 for 155 -- The Law of Unintended Consequences -- Satellite without a Name -- Wings of the Condor
In 1938, a young German rocket enthusiast named Wernher von Braun had dreams of building a rocket that could fly him to the moon. On the opposite side of the world, a young farm girl named Mary Sherman was attending high school in Ray, North Dakota. 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. The author relates how World War II and the Cold War space race with the Russians changed the fates of both von Braun and his mother. When von Braun and other top engineers could not find a solution to the repeated failures that plagued the nascent U.S. rocket program, North American Aviation, where Mary Sherman Morgan then worked, was given the challenge. Recognizing her talent for chemistry, company management turned the assignment over to young Mary. Her work resulted in a new propellant, Hydyne. 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.