the strange story of a rocket scientist who dabbled in the occult
JPL co-founder Jack Parsons was a brilliant rocket scientist who was also a follower of Aleister Crowley. He became a leader in Crowley's religion in the US and was later conned out of a huge sum by L.Ron Hubbard who made off with Parsons' girlfriend in the deal. Blackballed during the Red Scare, he died in a mysterious explosion his death ruled accidental.
The Occult Rocket Scientist Who Conjured Spirits with L. Ron Hubbard
But for Parsons it didn't seem strange at all. He treated magic and rocketry as different sides of the same coin—both had been disparaged, both derided as impossible, but because of this both presented themselves as challenges to be conquered.
from the motherboard story
more about Parsons on wikipedia