March 07, 2005

Mad Genius

Jack Parsons was one of the founding members of the famous Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Prior to WWII, he was part of a group researching rocket propulsion.

Parsons, moreover, came up with the first "castable" rocket fuel (so called because it could be cast in a mold), replacing conventional black powder with an asphalt mix. This innovation made rocket fuel safer and easier to handle, and set the stage for the use of solid fuels by the space shuttle and other spacecraft in later decades.

He was also rather better known as a figure in the world of the occult.

Try a google on "Jack Parsons" for a whole slew of odd sites. For instance, there's Jack Parsons & the Curious Origins of the American Space Program or this Rotten Library entry on the man.

There are at least two biographies available from Amazon: Sex and Rockets: The Occult World of Jack Parsons, and a newer one Strange Angel : The Otherworldly Life of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parsons.

Via Transterrestrial Musings.

Posted by Ted at March 7, 2005 05:44 AM
Category: History

My fiancee's company published Strange Angel, I'll have to have her bring the copy she's got for me home so I can read it after I finish the Speer bio.

Free books rock.

Posted by: Matt Navarre at March 8, 2005 02:48 AM
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