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Digitizing von Braun

28 Jun 2009, 05:34 UTC
Digitizing von Braun
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Via Wired comes news that NASA is asking the public for advice on how to best "analyze and electronically catalog a precious collection of notes that chronicle the early history of the human space flight program." The author of those notes? Rocketry pioneer Werner von Braun. The article quotes project manager Jason Crusan on why NASA deems this an important project: "It's first-hand insight on how management and engineering decisions were made on a real-time basis."The young von Braun was enthralled by explosives and fireworks, to the great chagrin of his father, who considered his son a juvenile delinquent. As a teenager, he strapped six skyrockets to a red toy wagon and set them off. The wagon traveled five blocks, streaming flames, before the rockets exploded, destroying the wagon, and von Braun was arrested. Despite this inauspicious beginning, he went on to earn a PhD in physics in the late 1930s. Within two years he found himself heading Nazi Germany’s military rocket development program. He invented the V-2 ballistic missile, first launched on October 3, 1942. This would be the ancestor of practically every missile used today. After Germany's defeat in 1945, von Braun and his entire team of rocket ...

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