Letter to rocket scientists from kid, 1957: "You put in other details"

Jason sez, "A beautiful entry at the Letters Of Note website detailing a card sent to the Woomera Rocket Range in Australia, 1957, by a little boy named Dean Cox. Dean provided the rocket scientists a helping hand with future space craft design offering his concept of a Rolls Royce Jet Engined-powered two man vehicle- but beyond that, the scientists would have to "put in other details". Turns out 52 years later he's been tracked down (see article comments) and he's still waiting for a reply."

TO A TOP SCIENTIST (Thanks, Jason!)



  1. “You put in other details”

    Can’t listen to the podcast at work to find out how he ended up, but it looks like he had a great career in management ahead of him.

  2. It says “Denis” on the letter. Perhaps he’d gotten tired of everybody singing that Blondie song at him.

  3. I can’t see how old he was when the letter was written, but he did well to only miss one letter in Mordialloc. His house still there:


    Nice big back yard, and with a hills hoist no less. Lots of space for an imaginative young kid to dream.

  4. I love the way he original addressed it to a scientist and then thought, ‘No, dammit, this is important. This needs to go to the TOP scientist!’

  5. This remind me of a letter I wrote when I was 11 or 12 (in mid 80′). I read about solar sailing in some magazine. I wrote to the JPL scientist (in broken english) to get more information on the subject.

    Now I don’t recall who it was but it did wrote me back with additional material (shame on me, it seem that I lost it when I moved out from my parents place).

    I felt really happy when I got the answer. I will never forget that.

    I never became a rocket scientist like I was dreaming then, but never the less, it was a great experience.

  6. REading the letter I thought gee that looks like something I would do at that age. Though I would have had more “Air torpedos”
    Then I noticed the post mark. That was the day I was born.

  7. I wonder if this child’s letter is in reference to the Hugh Walters science fiction novel “Blast Off at Woomera” that also came out in 1957.

  8. Forget the content, look at the postmark! It’s just like HotMail and getting random endorsements attached to all your mail.

  9. They were heartless enough not to reply to that letter? I hope the kid grew up to be a government bean counter who cut all their funding!

  10. yaayyy museum of jurassic technology!! reminds me of ‘letters to mt. wilson’, too — ‘cept with less of the crazy, and more of the totally cool and inventive.

  11. i sent a rocket design into a nasa scientist when i was in first grade and got back a big info packet and a letter from the guy

  12. I think this is basically what Reagan handed the DoD when he started the “Star Wars” program in 1983.

  13. I would point out that there is no such thing as a Rocket Scientist. Engineers design Rockets, so it should be ‘Rocket Engineer’ and ‘Rocket Engineering’. Even NASA acknowledges this.
    Scientists are not Engineers and vice versa unless they have the necessary qualifications. Engineers should get credit for their achievements, if they are to draw young talent into the profession.
    Fintan Lynch, Ph.D

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