Cleator, P(hilip) E(llaby) (1908–1994)

P. E. Cleator was the cofounder, with Les Johnson, and first president of the British Interplanetary Society (1933) and author of Rockets Through Space: The Dawn of Interplanetary Travel1 (1936) and Into Space (1954). Cleator proved to be more prescient than one of his reviewers, the astronomer Richard van der Riet Wooley, who in the 14 March 1936, issue of Nature wrote:


The whole procedure [of shooting rockets into space] ... presents difficulties of so fundamental a nature, that we are forced to dismiss the notion as essentially impracticable, in spite of the author's insistent appeal to put aside prejudice and to recollect the supposed impossibility of heavier-than-air flight before it was actually accomplished.



1. Cleator, P. E. Rockets Through Space: The Dawn of Interplanetary Travel. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1936.