Friday, October 3, 2014

Scholastic Fest: #23, Rocket Genius

(Note: This countdown started Wednesday with this post.)

  • Title: Rocket Genius (Original title: Robert Goddard — Father of the Space Age)
  • Author: Charles Spain Verral (1904-1990)
  • Illustrator: Paul Frame
  • Publisher: Scholastic Book Services
  • Year: First printing, September 1965
  • Excerpt:
    "Dr. Bob also suggested in his report that flash powder, of the kind used by photographers, be placed in the nose of such a rocket. He went so far as to suggest that if such a rocket were to hit the moon, the flash powder would go off and the burst of the flame could be seen from telescopes on earth.

    "The Smithsonian found the rewritten report very interesting. They published the paper in late 1919. It was just one of the many scientific papers that went to science students and libraries. It was not intended to be read by the public. But a newspaper reporter happened to see Dr. Bob's account. The reporter was struck by the moon-rocket idea."
  • Notes: Yes, Robert Hutchings Goddard (1882-1945) is referred to as "Dr. Bob" throughout the book. ... The author was best known for his juvenile fiction, including Lassie and the Daring Rescue, Rin Tin Tin and the Outlaw, Popeye and the Haunted House and the Brains Benton Mysteries ... The last few pages of this 1965 edition include updates on the United States rocketry and space programs, including a mention of the aim of the Apollo program to put men on the moon by 1970. ... In the midst of the Apollo 11 mission in July 1969, The New York Times published a famous correction concerning a criticism of Goddard from 49 years earlier. ... I believe that the background on the cover illustration was supposed to look like a field of stars. But it's fairly obviously just paint or ink splatter, which is slightly creepy. Makes it look like Goddard was involved with criminal forensics.

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