Wernher von Braun

Von Braun in 1960
Opel RAK.1 – World's first public manned flight of a rocket plane on 30 September 1929.
Von Braun with Fritz Todt, who utilized forced labor for major works across occupied Europe. Von Braun is wearing the Nazi party badge on his suit lapel.
First rank, from left to right, General Dr. Walter Dornberger (partially hidden), General Friedrich Olbricht (with Knight's Cross), Major Heinz Brandt, and Wernher von Braun (in civilian dress) at Peenemünde, Province of Pomerania, in March 1941
Schematic of the A4/V2
A regular He 112
Von Braun, with his arm in a cast, Walter Dornberger (on the left) and Bernhard Tessmann (on the right) surrendered to the Americans just before this 3 May 1945 photo.
Wernher von Braun at a meeting of NACA's Special Committee on Space Technology, 1958
Von Braun's badge at ABMA (1957)
Von Braun with President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960; after the loss of the US space race in 1957, the American leadership agreed to Braun's main role in the design of space rockets
Walt Disney and von Braun, seen in 1954 holding a model of his passenger ship, collaborated on a series of three educational films; among other things, this suggests that Braun himself had enough free time to popularize cosmonautics due to the fact that priority in the design of a space rocket was given to other people.
Von Braun with President Kennedy at Redstone Arsenal in 1963; President Kennedy was the initiator of the American lunar program in 1961, and Braun was appointed its technical director
Von Braun with the F-1 engines of the Saturn V first stage at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center
Still with his rocket models, von Braun is pictured in his new office at NASA headquarters in 1970
Von Braun during the Apollo 11 launch, with binoculars to watch it
Charles W. Mathews, von Braun, George Mueller, and Lt.-Gen. Samuel C. Phillips in the Launch Control Center following the successful Apollo 11 liftoff on 16 July 1969
Von Braun and William R. Lucas, the first and third Marshall Space Flight Center directors, viewing a Spacelab model in 1974; Braun's proposals for the further development of cosmonautics were not accepted, priority was given to the space shuttle program
Maria von Braun, wife of Wernher von Braun
Grave of Wernher von Braun in Ivy Hill Cemetery (Alexandria, Virginia), 2008
In 1970, Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama, honored von Braun's years of service with a series of events including the unveiling of a plaque in his honor. Pictured (l–r), his daughter Iris, wife Maria, U.S. Sen. John Sparkman, Alabama Gov. Albert Brewer, von Braun, son Peter, and daughter Margrit.

German-American aerospace engineer and space architect.

- Wernher von Braun
Von Braun in 1960

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IRBM and MRBM missiles.

Intermediate-range ballistic missile

Ballistic missile with a range of 3,000–5,500 km (1,864–3,418 miles), between a medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) and an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

Ballistic missile with a range of 3,000–5,500 km (1,864–3,418 miles), between a medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) and an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

IRBM and MRBM missiles.

The progenitor for the IRBM was the A4b rocket winged for increased range and based on the famous V-2 (Vergeltung, or "Reprisal", officially called A4) rocket designed by Wernher von Braun; the V-2 was widely used by Nazi Germany at the end of World War II to bomb English and Belgian cities.

The launch of Apollo 11 on Saturn V SA-506, July 16, 1969

Saturn V

American super heavy-lift launch vehicle developed by NASA under the Apollo program for human exploration of the Moon.

American super heavy-lift launch vehicle developed by NASA under the Apollo program for human exploration of the Moon.

The launch of Apollo 11 on Saturn V SA-506, July 16, 1969
Saturn V testing vehicle and flight vehicle configurations
All Saturn V launches, 1967–1973
Saturn V diagram
The first stage of Apollo 8 Saturn V being erected in the VAB on February 1, 1968. Engine fairings and fins not yet installed.
An S-II stage hoisted onto the A-2 test stand at the Mississippi Test Facility
The instrument unit for the Apollo 4 Saturn V
Condensation clouds surrounding the Apollo 11 Saturn V as it works its way through the dense lower atmosphere.
Apollo 11 S-IC separation
Apollo 6 interstage falling away. The engine exhaust from the S-II stage glows as it impacts the interstage.
Apollo 17 S-IVB rocket stage, shortly after transposition and docking with the Lunar Module
The Saturn-Shuttle concept
Comparison of Saturn V, Shuttle, Ares I, Ares V, Ares IV, and SLS Block 1
Saturn V Rocket -- Johnson Space Center
Saturn V's F-1 engines—Rocket Park, Houston
National Air and Space Museum
U.S. Space & Rocket Center
Johnson Space Center
Kennedy Space Center
S-IVB stage as Skylab, National Air & Space Museum

The largest production model of the Saturn family of rockets, the Saturn V was designed under the direction of Wernher von Braun at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama; the lead contractors were Boeing, North American Aviation, Douglas Aircraft Company, and IBM.

Peenemünde railway station for service to Zinnowitz

Peenemünde

Municipality on the Baltic Sea island of Usedom in the Vorpommern-Greifswald district in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany.

Municipality on the Baltic Sea island of Usedom in the Vorpommern-Greifswald district in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany.

Peenemünde railway station for service to Zinnowitz
V-2 rocket

German scientists such as Wernher von Braun, who worked at the V-2 facility, were known as "Peenemünders".

Marshall Space Flight Center

U.S. government's civilian rocketry and spacecraft propulsion research center.

U.S. government's civilian rocketry and spacecraft propulsion research center.

Ceremony of transfer from Army to NASA July 1, 1960
President Eisenhower unveils a bust of George C. Marshall at the space center with help from Marshall's widow, Katherine Tupper Marshall.
Rockets developed at MSFC and ABMA before it are on display at MSFC.
Lunar Roving Vehicle test article on test track
MSFC engineers tested this articulated arm developed, but not used, for Skylab at a MSFC flat floor facility.
MSFC used the Neutral Buoyancy Facility to test Skylab procedures. Here, engineers are testing procedures for repairing Skylab.
A crane hoists Space Shuttle Pathfinder into the Saturn V Dynamic Test Stand at MSFC to test the procedures in preparation for the dynamic test of Space Shuttle Enterprise.

In August 1945, 127 missile specialists led by Wernher von Braun signed work contracts with the U.S. Army's Ordnance Corps.

Kurt H. Debus, a former V-2 rocket scientist who became a NASA director, sitting between U.S. President John F. Kennedy and U.S. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1962 at a briefing at Blockhouse 34, Cape Canaveral Missile Test Annex.

Operation Paperclip

Secret United States intelligence program in which more than 1,600 Nazi German scientists, engineers, and technicians were taken from former Nazi Germany to the U.S. for government employment after the end of World War II in Europe, between 1945 and 1959.

Secret United States intelligence program in which more than 1,600 Nazi German scientists, engineers, and technicians were taken from former Nazi Germany to the U.S. for government employment after the end of World War II in Europe, between 1945 and 1959.

Kurt H. Debus, a former V-2 rocket scientist who became a NASA director, sitting between U.S. President John F. Kennedy and U.S. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1962 at a briefing at Blockhouse 34, Cape Canaveral Missile Test Annex.
V-2 rocket launching, Peenemünde, on the north-east Baltic German coast. (1943)
The Allied zones of occupation in post-war Germany, highlighting the Soviet zone (red), the inner German border (heavy black line), and the zone from which British and American troops withdrew in July 1945 (purple). The provincial boundaries are those of Nazi Germany, before the present Länder (federal states) were established.
A group of 104 rocket scientists (aerospace engineers) at Fort Bliss, Texas

Then U.S. Army Major Robert B. Staver, Chief of the Jet Propulsion Section of the Research and Intelligence Branch of the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps, used the Osenberg List to compile his list of German scientists to be captured and interrogated; Wernher von Braun, Germany's premier rocket scientist, headed Major Staver's list.

NASA

Independent agency of the U.S. federal government responsible for the civil space program, aeronautics research, and space research.

Independent agency of the U.S. federal government responsible for the civil space program, aeronautics research, and space research.

X-15 in powered flight
L. Gordon Cooper, photographed by a slow-scan television camera aboard Faith 7 (May 16, 1963)
Richard Gordon performs a spacewalk to attach a tether to the Agena Target Vehicle on Gemini 11, 1966
Buzz Aldrin on the Moon, 1969 (photograph by Neil Armstrong)
Skylab in 1974, seen from the departing Skylab 4 CSM.
Soviet and American crews with spacecraft model, 1975.
Launch of at the start of STS-120.
The International Space Station as seen from during STS-134.
Artist's rendering of Altair lander landed on the Moon.
Artemis program logo
Administrator Bill Nelson
Organizational structure of NASA (2015)
NASA logo at JPL on November 17, 2020
The Goddard Institute for Space Studies of Columbia University in New York City
William H. Pickering, (center) JPL Director, President John F. Kennedy, (right). NASA Administrator James E. Webb (background) discussing the Mariner program, with a model presented.
NASA's budget from 1958 to 2012 as a percentage of federal budget
An artist's conception, from NASA, of an astronaut planting a US flag on Mars. A human mission to Mars has been discussed as a possible NASA mission since the 1960s.
NASA EDGE broadcasting live from White Sands Missile Range in 2010
Space Force Delta
Langley Research Center
Ames Research Center wind tunnels
Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge, California
George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama
Goddard Space Flight Center, Maryland
Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston
John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida
Various nebulae observed from a NASA space telescope
1 Ceres
Pluto
Hardware comparison of Apollo, Gemini, and Mercury{{refn|group= note|From left to right: Launch vehicle of Apollo (Saturn 5), Gemini (Titan 2) and Mercury (Atlas). Left, top-down: Spacecraft of Apollo, Gemini and Mercury. The Saturn IB and Mercury-Redstone launch vehicles are left out.}}
Hubble Space Telescope, astronomy observatory in Earth orbit since 1990. Also visited by the Space Shuttle.
James Webb Space Telescope
Curiosity rover, roving Mars since 2012
Perseverance rover
Orion spacecraft
Space Launch System rocket
Lunar Gateway space station
Concept of cargo transport from Space Shuttle to Nuclear Shuttle, 1960s
Space Tug concept, 1970s
Vision mission for an interstellar precursor spacecraft by NASA, 2000s
Langley's Mars Ice Dome design for a Mars habitat, 2010s

A significant contributor to NASA's entry into the Space Race with the Soviet Union was the technology from the German rocket program led by Wernher von Braun, who was now working for the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA), which in turn incorporated the technology of American scientist Robert Goddard's earlier works.

SS Gorget patches

Sturmbannführer

Nazi Party paramilitary rank equivalent to major that was used in several Nazi organizations, such as the SA, SS, and the NSFK.

Nazi Party paramilitary rank equivalent to major that was used in several Nazi organizations, such as the SA, SS, and the NSFK.

SS Gorget patches
Max Hansen, Sturmbannführer of the Waffen-SS

The rank was held by Wernher von Braun, who developed the V-2 rocket, and later designed the Saturn V rocket for the U.S. space program.

Peenemünde Museum replica of V-2

V-2 rocket

The world’s first long-range guided ballistic missile.

The world’s first long-range guided ballistic missile.

Peenemünde Museum replica of V-2
Wernher von Braun at Peenemünde Army Research Center
Wind tunnel model of an A4 in the German Museum of Technology in Berlin
Heinrich Maier and his group helped the allies to fight the V-2, which was produced by concentration camp prisoners.
Layout of a V-2 rocket
Captured V-2 on public display in Antwerp, 1945. Exhaust vanes and external rudders in tail section shown.
A U.S. Army cut-away of the V-2
A sectioned V-2 engine on display at the Deutsches Museum, Munich (2006).
23 June 1943 RAF reconnaissance photo of V-2s at Test Stand VII
A V-2 launched from Test Stand VII in summer 1943
One of the victims of a V-2 that struck Teniers Square, Antwerp, Belgium on 27 November 1944. A British military convoy was passing through the square at the time; 126 (including 26 Allied soldiers) were killed.
Ruined buildings at Whitechapel, London, left by the penultimate V-2 to strike the city on 27 March 1945; the rocket killed 134 people. The final V-2 to fall on London killed one person at Orpington later the same day.
The extent of damage caused to a London residential area due to a single V-2 strike in January 1945
Rocket engine used by V-2, Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin (2014)
Operation Backfire V-2 rocket on Meillerwagen (SI Negative #76-2755).
US test launch of a Bumper V-2.
The first photo of Earth from space was taken from a V-2 launched by US scientists on 24 October 1946.
R-1 rocket (V-2 rebuilt by the Soviet Union) on a Vidalwagen at Kapustin Yar
V-2 rocket located at the Australian War Memorial Treloar Centre Annex
A rusty V-2 engine in the original underground production facilities at the Dora-Mittelbau concentration camp memorial site.
V-2 on display in Musée de l'Armée, Paris.
The propulsion unit from a V-2 that broke up in air on display (with exhaust-exit pointed up) Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum

Research into military use of long-range rockets began when the graduate studies of Wernher von Braun attracted the attention of the German Army.

Hermann Oberth

Austro-Hungarian-born German physicist and engineer.

Austro-Hungarian-born German physicist and engineer.

Hermann Oberth as a young boy, c. undefined 1901
Opel RAK.1 - World's first public flight of a manned rocket-powered plane on September 30, 1929
Hermann Oberth with Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, 1961
The bust of Hermann Oberth in front of Sibiu city hall
Sculpture of Hermann Oberth in Sighișoara located at bottom of the main pathway leading from the lower town towards the citadel (summer 2017).

Oberth became a member of the Verein für Raumschiffahrt (VfR) – the "Spaceflight Society" – an amateur rocketry group that had taken great inspiration from his book, and Oberth acted as something of a mentor to the enthusiasts who joined the Society, which included persons such as Wernher von Braun, Rolf Engel, Rudolf Nebel or Paul Ehmayr.

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Human mission to Mars

The idea of sending humans to Mars has been the subject of aerospace engineering and scientific studies since the late 1940s as part of the broader exploration of Mars.

The idea of sending humans to Mars has been the subject of aerospace engineering and scientific studies since the late 1940s as part of the broader exploration of Mars.

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The minimum distance between the orbits of Mars and Earth from 2014 to 2061, measured in astronomical units
Three views of Mars, Hubble Space Telescope, 1997
Inserts depict observation and analysis to find a safe landing site
Comparison of radiation doses – includes the amount detected on the trip from Earth to Mars by the RAD inside the MSL (2011–2013). Vertical axis is in logarithmic scale, so the dose over a Mars year is about 15 times the DOE limit, not less than twice, as a quick glance might suggest. The actual dose would depend on factors such as spacecraft design and natural events such as solar flares.
Artistic vision of spacecraft providing artificial gravity by spinning. (see also Centrifugal force)
Fuel is mined from Phobos with the help of a nuclear reactor.
Artist's conception of the Mars Excursion Module (MEM) proposed in a NASA study in 1963. Crew wear Mars suits on surface EVA from the module.
Artist's conception of a human mission on the surface of Mars
(1989 painting by Les Bossinas of Lewis Research Center for NASA)
NASA Mars habitat concept for DRA 1.0, derived from the Mars Direct Architecture, 1995
Artist's concept of crew members setting up weather monitoring equipment on the surface of Mars
Artwork featuring astronauts enduring a Mars dust storm near a rover
Project Constellation included an Orion Mars Mission.
Concept for NASA's Design Reference Mission Architecture 5.0 (2009)
Artist's rendering of SLS Block 1/Orion
Artist impression of the Deep Space Transport, about to dock with the Lunar Gateway
Artist's rendering of the planned Orion/DSH/Cryogenic Propulsion Module assembly.
Depiction of plants growing in a Mars base. NASA plans to grow plants for space food.
NASA has stated that robots will prepare an underground base for a human surface mission.
Artist concept of SCIM gathering a sample of the Martian atmosphere
Sample return mission concept

Wernher von Braun was the first person to make a detailed technical study of a Mars mission.