Book Review of
Rise of the Rocket Girls
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 really liked reading Rocket Girls. Last year, I read Hidden Figures and really liked it. I felt that this book read a little bit easier than Hidden Figures, but it is a similar story. It was fascinating to learn about the amazing women who worked to help send humans to space. I felt this story was very personal and had a good view on how life was for these woman back in their day. I did feel at some points it was occasionally all over the place in time, but that often happens in history books that cover a lot of lives like this one does.
I agree with Grace. I really enjoyed this book. It was a little slow at first, but once I got into it I loved it. I have not really read very much on the space industry. I definitely didn’t know that so much of the space industry started in California, so it was fascinating to learn so much about it. The author did a great job of weaving personal stories into a book about science.