Synopses & Reviews
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.
"I stole sleep to finish this book. Holt gives voice to a group of important (and lesser-known) female scientists. The domestic and the scientific are elegantly rendered. It is an impressive contribution to American history and I was sad to turn the last page." TaraShea Nesbit, Author of The Wives of Los Alamos
"Wow! Talk about forgotten history!...This is an excellent contribution to American history, valuable not only for what it reveals about the space program and gender equality but even more as great reading." Booklist (Starred Review)
"[The women’s] stories are fun, intense, and endearing, and they give a new perspective on the rise of the space age." Popular Science
"The book acts as a fascinating time capsule, capturing what it was like to be a working woman at a time when only 20 percent of women worked outside the home, or when a woman could be fired simply for being pregnant.” Smithsonian Magazine
About the Author
Nathalia Holt is the author of Cured: The People Who Defeated HIV and a former fellow at the Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT and Harvard University. Her writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, TheAtlantic.com, Slate, Time.com, and Popular Science. She lives in Boston.