Escape from Earth: A Secret History of the Space Rocket by Fraser MacDonald
Requirements: .ePUB reader, 37 mb
Overview: The long-buried truth about the dawn of the Space Age: lies, spies, socialism, and sex magick.
Los Angeles, 1930s: Everyone knows that rockets are just toys, the stuff of cranks and pulp magazines. Nevertheless, an earnest engineering student named Frank Malina sets out to prove the doubters wrong. With the help of his friend Jack Parsons, a grandiose and occult-obsessed explosives enthusiast, Malina embarks on a journey that takes him from junk yards and desert lots to the heights of the military-industrial complex.
Malina designs the first American rocket to reach space and establishes the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. But trouble soon finds him: the FBI suspects Malina of being a communist. And when some classified documents go missing, will his comrades prove as dependable as his engineering?
Most history books contain no mention of Frank Malina, the man who founded NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, who built the first rocket ever launched into extraterrestrial space, and whose overall scientific achievements rank with those of the Wright brothers.
Malina can’t be found in the history books, but the FBI has a thick file on him. He was a committed Communist, and his political life eventually overwhelmed his considerable scientific one. It led to tension with his government superiors, ultimately getting him fired; it determined the fate of his marriage, which ended in divorce; and eventually forced him to flee the country.
This rich, dramatic story is told here by Fraser MacDonald, a historian of science with a deep command of this material and a flair for storytelling. His prose is confident and wryly funny, never failing to catch a fascinating detail. Based on a wealth of newly discovered information, this book will make you rethink the story of humanity’s greatest achievement
Genre: Non-Fiction > History