LA Made

By LAist Studios

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“LA Made” is a new series exploring stories of bold Californian innovators and how they forever changed the lives of millions all over the world. Each season will unpack the untold and surprising stories behind some of the most exciting innovations that continue to influence our lives today.

Season 1, “LA Made: Blood, Sweat & Rockets,” tells the hidden story of the fearless, groundbreaking and ambitious crew who shaped our quest to outer space and ushered in the early days of space exploration at Pasadena’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at CalTech. Known as the “Suicide Squad,” the team’s road to triumph was fraught with controversies involving the occult, a suspected spy ring, unplanned explosions, and a suspicious death. Join writer and life-long aerospace fanatic M.G. Lord as she uncovers their story and reveals the shocking origins of rocket science in this 12 episode season. 

Episode Date
Blood, Sweat & Rockets: Cred

The semi-successful Halloween test earns the squad some legitimacy and some money. Without consistent funding, though, the Suicide Squad breaks up before they've really gotten started. Until the U.S. government is caught off guard by the Nazis’ technological advancements and decides it needs to accelerate its own rocketry production — fast. 

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Nov 22, 2022
Blood, Sweat & Rockets: The Suicide Squad

Meet the Suicide Squad: Jack Parsons, Frank Malina, and their crew. They're a band of young engineers, chemists, and mathematicians who saw the limitless potential of aerospace before the field was even a field. In an effort to earn credibility, the squad plans a dramatic experiment — a critical proof of concept — to showcase a technology they believe could be the future of humanity. Will it succeed — or fail spectacularly?  

This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp. Save 10% off your first month at

Nov 15, 2022
Introducing LA Made: Blood, Sweat & Rockets, from LAist Studios

From NASA sending astronauts to the moon to billionaires launching themselves into space, there’s something about the cosmos that inspires people to attempt the impossible. But none of those things might have happened if it weren’t for a group of unsung engineers in Pasadena back in the 1930s. They risked it all for the sake of blowing stuff up and changing the world. They were known as the “Suicide Squad.” This is their story.

Nov 07, 2022