Astro Turf: The Private Life of Rocket Science (Google eBook)
A daughter's journey to rediscover her father and understand the culture of space engineers
During the late 1960s, while M. G. Lord was becoming a teenager in Southern California and her mother was dying of cancer, Lord's father-an archetypal, remote, rocket engineer- disappeared into his work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, building the space probes of the Mariner Mars 69 mission. Thirty years later, Lord found herself reporting on the JPL, triggering childhood memories and a desire to revisit her past as a way of understanding the ethos of rocket science. Astro Turf is the brilliant result of her journey of discovery.
Remembering her pain at her father's absence, yet intrigued by what he did, Lord captures him on the page as she recalls her own youthful, eccentric fascination with science and space exploration. Into her family's saga she weaves the story of the legendary JPL- examining the complexities of its cultural history, from its start in 1936 to the triumphant Mars landings in 2004. She illuminates its founder, Frank Malina, whose brilliance in rocketry was shadowed by a flirtation with communism, driving him from the country even as we welcomed Wernher von Braun and his Nazi colleagues. Lord's own love of science fiction becomes a lens through which she views a profound cultural shift in the male-dominated world of space. And in pursuing the cause of her father's absence she stumbles on a hidden guilt, understanding "the anguish his proud silence caused both him and me, and how rooted that silence was in the culture of engineering."
What people are saying - Write a review
Review: Astro TurfUser Review - Lisa - Goodreads
9 star: Super, couldn't put it down. From the back cover: During the late 60s, while MG> Lord was becoming a teenager in Southern California and her mother was dying of cancer, Lord's father ... Read full review
Review: Astro Turf: The Private Life of Rocket ScienceUser Review - Black Elephants - Goodreads
MG Lord examines her childhood relationship with her remote father as a way of understanding the changes that rock the space engineering community from the Cold War to and present. What I liked most ... Read full review
The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the ...
Limited preview - 2009