Rocket Girl

Rocket Girl

The Story of Mary Sherman Morgan, America's First Female Rocket Scientist

Book - 2013
Average Rating:
Rate this:
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.
Publisher: Amherst, New York : Prometheus Books, 2013
ISBN: 9781616147402
Branch Call Number: B MORGAN
Characteristics: 325 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Apr 23, 2014

In an environment often hostile to women at the time, Mary Sherman Morgan's exceptional abilities as a theoretical performance analyst lead to the invention of hydyne, a rocket fuel cocktail, that enables the United States to remain competitive in the race for space. This story is lovingly reconstructed by her son through interviews with her colleagues and family. Creative licence is used in the dialogue as admitted by the author.

susankent Sep 05, 2013

Mary Sherman Morgan's biography adds a fascinating new dimension to the history of the US space program, and to the history of women in science from the 1940s on. Told by her son (whose writing style may not be exactly to your taste), it is also a very personal story and so will appeal to those who enjoy a good memoir.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at PPL

To Top