oldbloke (oldbloke) wrote,
oldbloke
oldbloke

Ignition!

The next combination that the group tried then, was nitrogen tetroxide
and methanol. Tests began in August 1937. But Malina, instead
of working outdoors, as any sane man would have done, was so
ill advised as to conduct his tests in the Mechanical Engineering building,
which, on the occasion of a misfire, was filled with a mixture of
methanol and N2O4 fumes. The latter, reacting with the oxygen and
the moisture in the air, cleverly converted itself to nitric acid, which
settled corrosively on all the expensive machinery in the building.
Malina's popularity with the establishment suffered a vertiginous
drop
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