Kuiper devours a bagel.

Bagel and LOX

Most brindles are red
But this one is blue
He liked his first bagel
This was not great haiku

Ok, your turn to write; share your own poem below. ? I’ll get back to our Lunar Atlas next, but I thought this would be a good fit for Valentine’s Day. It also fits pretty well here in our timeline.

I mentioned a few posts back that the first Redstone rockets ran on a mix of 75% ethanol and 25% water. They also used liquid oxygen (“LOX”) as an oxidizer. However, ethanol isn’t the propellant that launched Explorer 1 (our first satellite.) Here is a dramatized historical re-enactment BASED ON A TRUE STORY:

Mary Sherman Morgan: It is 1956 and I am America’s first lady rocket scientist! Lo, I have invented a new rocket fuel!
US Army: K.
Mary: We should totally name it “bagel!!” Then we can say that America’s first satellite was launched with…bagel and LOX!
US Army: ?
Mary: ?
US Army: No.

The Army chose to name Mary’s invention “hydyne,” a mix of chemicals UDMH and DETA (don’t worry; there won’t be a test…or will there? ?) Without making big changes to Redstone, the Army was able to increase its thrust from 75,000 lbs to 83,000 lbs just by using the new fuel. Although hydyne was more powerful than the ethanol mixture, it was also more toxic. Thus it was never used to launch a living creature into space, in case they had to ditch in an emergency.

Most of what we know about Mary’s work was compiled by her son George after her passing in 2004. At her memorial service, one of her former coworkers told him that his mother had single-handedly saved the US space program.

Surprise! That was new information to George; Mary had never really discussed her work with her family. She wasn’t super well-known professionally, either. When Wernher von Braun got back to his hotel after Explorer 1 launched, he sat down and wrote a letter addressed “Dear Unknown Lady.” He mailed the letter to Mary’s employer to thank her for her invention (it eventually made its way to her.)

George Morgan ended up writing both a book and a play based on his mom’s life. The book is called “Rocket Girl,” and you can find it at your local library or wherever books are borrowed.

Original post: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bt3ntMcDfQc/

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