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Guest Post: Rockets Rising

An excerpt (#2!) from Rise of the Rocket Girls, by Nathalia Holt
This is the first time I’ve ever done this… But I think the history is so important, and Nathalia has done such a beautiful job of getting it down so eloquently on paper, that I’ve posted another excerpt from her book.

Rockets were considered fringe science, and the people who worked on them weren’t taken seriously. When Frank [Malina] asked one of his professors at Caltech, Fritz Zwicky, for help on a problem, the teacher told him, “You’re a bloody fool. You’re trying to do something impossible. Rockets can’t work in space.” …

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Guest Post: Rocket Girls

An excerpt from Rise of the Rocket Girls, by Nathalia Holt
Fascinating, beautifully written, enlightening history… I love this book.

… It was 1968, and the women were gearing up for another go at Mars. Mariner 6 and 7 would be the latest craft to fly by the Red Planet. The computers eagerly plotted the spacecraft’s trajectories and programmed the instruments that would probe the planet from space in search of extraterrestrial life. Helen was doing contingency planning, just in case something went wrong…

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Guest Post: “Life’s Beginning” by Richard Dawkins

An Excerpt From The Selfish Gene, By Richard Dawkins (40th Anniversary)
40 years later, this is still one of the best descriptions of evolution and natural selection of all time. Happy Birthday to “The Selfish Gene”! If you haven’t read it yet, you owe it to yourself to read it now:

…Chemists have tried to imitate the chemical conditions of the young earth. They have put these simple substances in a flask and supplied a source of energy such as ultraviolet light or electric sparks – artificial simulation of primordial lightning. After a few weeks of this, something interesting is usually found inside the flask… Continue Reading