With extensive and informative excerpts gathered from over three dozen NASA history and reference publications, this unique compilation provides unprecedented insight into the life and work of Dr. Wernher von Braun on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth in 1912. It includes comprehensive biographies, compelling histories of his work for Nazi Germany building the V-2 rocket from several sources (including Soviet rocket scientist Boris Chertok), and many tales and anecdotes told by NASA associates who worked with him during the Apollo Saturn moon rocket program. Von Braun's own words describe the Saturn program, his boyhood interest in rocketry, and more.
Contents: Part 1: General Biographies and Information, Anecdotes; Part 2: Early Years, German Missile Development, Operation Paperclip; Part 3: Arrival In America And The Huntsville Years; Part 4: Saturn Rocket Development and The Apollo Years; Part 5: Bibliography.
Every aspect of his historic life is examined: his early interest in rockets; his pioneering development of the A-4 (V-2) rocket at Peenemunde; controversy over his knowledge of prison labor used to manufacture Hitler's vengeance rocket; Operation Paperclip which brought von Braun and his fellow engineers to America; the development of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA) in Huntsville, Alabama; the transfer of ABMA operations to NASA; the Saturn rocket program and the development and production of the incredibly successful Saturn V moon rocket for the Apollo lunar landing program; his work with Walt Disney as part of his never-ending effort to popularize space travel; and much more.
One of the NASA biographies states: "Wernher Von Braun was one of the world's first and foremost rocket engineers and a leading authority on space travel. His will to expand man's knowledge through the exploration of space led to the development of the Explorer satellites, the Jupiter and Jupiter-C rockets, Pershing, the Redstone rocket, Saturn rockets, and Skylab, the world's first space station. Additionally, his determination to "go where no man has gone before" led to mankind setting foot on the moon. Living in Huntsville, Alabama from 1950 to 1970, Dr. von Braun first directed the technical development of the U.S. Army's ballistic missile program at Redstone Arsenal, and later served as Director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. When he transferred to Washington, D.C., he left Huntsville with a rich legacy: the research institutions at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, the Alabama Space and Rocket Center, and the Von Braun Civic Center."