Jack PARSONS

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AmericanBorn Marvel Whiteside PARSONS

American rocket propulsion researcher at the California Institute of Technology

Born on October 02, 1914 in Los Angeles, California, USA , United States

Died on June 17, 1952 in Pasadena, California, USA

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Parsons was the only child of a rich and dysfunctional family. When he was a teenager his father walked out on his mother and him. Parsons landed a job with the Hercules Powder Company while still a senior in high school. The following year, he entered Pasadena Junior College and spent two years at the University of Southern California, although he did not graduate.



In 1936, Parsons joined the Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory (GALCIT) of the California Institute of Technology, where he worked for Frank Malina and Theodore von Kármán in Pasadena.

...   Parsons was the only child of a rich and dysfunctional family. When he was a teenager his father walked out on his mother and him. Parsons landed a job with the Hercules Powder Company while still a senior in high school. The following year, he entered Pasadena Junior College and spent two years at the University of Southern California, although he did not graduate.



In 1936, Parsons joined the Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory (GALCIT) of the California Institute of Technology, where he worked for Frank Malina and Theodore von Kármán in Pasadena.



While his formal education was limited, Parsons demonstrated tremendous scientific aptitude and genius, particularly in chemistry. His rocket research was some of the earliest in the United States, and his pioneering work in the development of solid fuel and the invention of JATO units for aircraft was of great importance to the start of humanity's space age. The noted engineer Theodore von Kármán, Parsons' friend and benefactor, declared that the work of Parsons and his peers helped usher in the age of space travel. Parsons co-founded the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, commonly referred to as JPL. According to von Kármán, Parsons' work in solid fuel research "... made possible such outstanding rockets as the Polaris and the Minuteman."



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