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Table of Contents

  • In Re John D. Clark - foreword by Issac Asimov
  • Preface
  • How It Started
  • Peenemunde and JPL
  • The Hunting of the Hypergol . . .
  • . . . and Its Mate
  • Peroxide - Always a Bridesmaid
  • Halogens and Politics and Deep Space
  • Performance
  • Lox and Flox and Cryogenics in General
  • What Ivan Was Doing
  • Exotics
  • The Hopeful Monoprops
  • High Density and the Higher Foolishness
  • What Happens Next
  • Glossary
  • Index

About the Author

John Drury Clark (1907 - 1988) was an American rocket fuel developer, chemist, and science fiction writer. In addition to his work as a scientist, he was instrumental in the broad revival of interest in Robert E. Howard's Conan stories and an influence on the writing of Isaac Asimov, L. Sprague de Camp, Fletcher Pratt, and other sci-fi authors.

Issac Asimov (1920 - 1992) was an American author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. A prolific writer, he published more than 500 books, most notably the science fiction novels I, Robot and Foundation, and the popular science works, Guide to Science and Understanding Physics.


"Ignition! is a hard-to-get-your-hands-on account of early rocket science...Clark was an American chemist active in the development of rocket fuels back in the 1960s and 1970s, and the book is both an account of the growth of the field and an explainer of how the science works."

--Business Insider
"Ignition! is a history of liquid rocket propellants, but it's also a history of cold war and the space race, told from a particular point of view....That humor helps the accessibility, and as long as you remember some high school chemistry you shouldn't have a problem with the science either."--Ars Technica
"Ignition!, originally written in 1972, is back in print after a long hiatus. A classic book, it tells a rollicking story of an era when space was the frontier. An informative history, it reads like an adventure story."--Galveston County Daily News

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