Wernher von Braun

Mar 23, 1912 - Jun 16, 1977

Wernher Magnus Maximilian Freiherr von Braun was a German-American aerospace engineer and space architect. He was the leading figure in the development of rocket technology in Nazi Germany and a pioneer of rocket and space technology in the United States.
While in his twenties and early thirties, von Braun worked in Nazi Germany's rocket development program. He helped design and co-developed the V-2 rocket at Peenemünde during World War II. Following the war he was secretly moved to the United States, along with about 1,600 other German scientists, engineers, and technicians, as part of Operation Paperclip. He worked for the United States Army on an intermediate-range ballistic missile program, and he developed the rockets that launched the United States' first space satellite Explorer 1 in 1958.
In 1960, his group was assimilated into NASA, where he served as director of the newly formed Marshall Space Flight Center and as the chief architect of the Saturn V super heavy-lift launch vehicle that propelled the Apollo spacecraft to the Moon. In 1967, von Braun was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering, and in 1975, he received the National Medal of Science.
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