Wernher von Braun was born one hundred years ago, but his blueprint for space exploration still has relevance today.
A blueprint for the future: Still relevant
Friday March 23rd is the 100th anniversary of the birth of Wernher von Braun (1912-1977), the man most responsible for creating and implementing a vision of humans in space. Von Braun is legendary in space circles – both admired and criticized by observers within and outside of the program. As a young space enthusiast and physicist, he worked on solving the practical problems of liquid rocket engines. Working for the German Wehrmacht, he led the team that designed and built the world’s first ballistic missile weapon, the A-4 (or V-2, as we know it). In the post-war years, he wrote and spoke about humanity’s imminent future in the new frontier of space. As head of the Saturn development team and Director of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, he designed and supervised the building of the Saturn family of launch vehicles – the rockets that sent men to the Moon.
Von Braun’s contributions are numerous, but in this post, I want to focus specifically on his most lasting legacy, what I call the “von ...