Nathalia Holt

Nathalia Holt, author of Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars, unpacks the history of women at the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab and their contribution to the space program.

Female engineers were hired as “human computers” to develop early military technology in the 1940s, she says.

“These women did the math in the lab and were in the control room” tracking the path of America’s first satellite, Holt explains. They were “doing it all by hand, sitting at a light table with pencil and paper..and everyone in the room was waiting to [hear] if the mission was a success or not.”



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