“In 1939, the National Academy of Sciences awarded a grant to the Suicide Squad, a group of three students experimenting with rockets at Caltech, now more formally known as the GALCIT (Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology) Rocket Research Project.
“It came just in time.
“Until then, the group, comprised of Frank Malina, Jack Parsons, and Ed Forman, had no way to fund the rockets they were working on, and was on the verge of disbanding. That first award, $1,000, rescued the group, bringing them back together.”
Excerpt from https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/06/the-women-behind-the-jet-propulsion-laboratory/482847/ . Click on the link to learn more, especially about the essential role of the human computers making the mathematical calculations.
An important factor in this award was Frank Jewett (below).
Learn more about Frank Jewett and the National Academy of Sciences at https://www.nap.edu/read/579/chapter/14#383 . Throop Institute later became CalTech (California Institute of Technology).