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In Season 1, “LA Made: Blood, Sweat & Rockets”, Writer and Life-Long Aerospace Fanatic M.G. Lord Unpacks the Origins of Space Exploration Through the Story of the Ambitious, Daring and Controversial Team Dubbed the “Suicide Squad” Who Founded Pasadena’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Pasadena, Calif., November 9, 2022 LAist Studios, Southern California Public Radio’s (SCPR) podcast development and production studio, today announced “LA Made”, a new podcast series exploring innovation in Southern California. Each season will unpack the untold and surprising stories behind some of the most exciting innovations that continue to influence our lives today. Launching on November 15, the first season — “Blood, Sweat & Rockets” — is hosted by cultural critic and investigative journalist M.G. Lord and tells the story of the fearless and groundbreaking crew who became known as the “Suicide Squard” and ushered in the early days of space exploration at Pasadena’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at CalTech.

A trailer for “LA Made: Blood, Sweat & Rockets” is available on, and listeners can subscribe to the series now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, NPR One, iHeartRadio and wherever podcasts are available.

“‘LA Made’ is a dynamic new series that explores the impact that California’s greatest thinkers and dreamers have had on our country and humanity at large. With public interest in space exploration at an all-time high, ‘Blood, Sweat, & Rockets’ is the perfect way to kick it off,” said Shana Naomi Krochmal, vice president of LAist Studios. “Having been raised by a father who was an engineer at JPL in the 1960s, M.G. has an endless curiosity about aerospace that shines through as she takes listeners through the history of this outrageous world. M.G.’s no-holds-barred approach to telling this story brings out nuances that have largely been left out until now.”

In “LA Made: Blood, Sweat & Rockets”, Lord delves deep into history to reveal a winding story about the complex origins of rocket science in Pasadena, California, and why it is that the lure of outer space inspires people to attempt the impossible. Behind modern achievements in space exploration – from the moon landing and the Voyager launch, to Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX – is a much more complicated story. One that involves a courageous group of scientists boldly executing life-risking experiments, female comrades who never got credit for their contributions, a battle over the use of space technology for war weapons, satanic ceremonies, sex magick, and a romantic entanglement involving L. Ron Hubbard decades before he would create the Church of Scientology. It’s the story of a real life team led by Frank Malina, Hsue-Shen Tsien and Jack Parsons who a century ago became known as the “Suicide Squad.”

Lord is the author of the widely praised books Astro Turf: The Private Life of Rocket Science, a family memoir about Cold War aerospace culture; Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a RealDoll; and The Accidental Feminist: How Elizabeth Taylor Raised Our Consciousness and We Were Too Distracted by Her Beauty to Notice. A graduate of Yale, Lord previously spent twelve years as a syndicated political cartoonist and columnist based at Newsday. She is an Associate Professor in the English Department at USC. She also profiled Elon Musk early in his career for Los Angeles Magazine.

About Southern California Public Radio (SCPR)

Southern California Public Radio ( is a member-supported multi-platform public media organization that has garnered more than 500 journalistic honors since 1999. Recognized as a national leader in public service journalism and civic engagement, SCPR’s flagship radio station, 89.3 KPCC-FM, reaches more than 900,000 listeners every week as the most listened-to public radio news service across Southern California. The network’s five stations (89.3 KPCC-FM, 89.1 KUOR-FM, 90.3 KVLA-FM, 89.9 FM, and 89.5 KJAI-FM) deliver award-winning local news coverage to the communities of the region, including a robust slate of signature programs from NPR, APM, the BBC, and PRI. LAist ( is a digital news site committed to in-depth reporting about life in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Its award-winning work reaches more than seven million people per month, and in 2019, the brand grew to include LAist Studios (, a dedicated podcast development and production studio. Furthering SCPR’s commitment to premium on-demand audio storytelling, podcasts from LAist Studios aim to reflect the ethos of Los Angeles — a forward-looking community built upon unmatched diversity, inclusion, and drive—going beyond geographical borders to connect with listeners around the globe who share the LA state of mind.

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