Wernher von Braun

Wernher Magnus Maximilian, Freiherr von Braun (March 23, 1912 – June 16, 1977), was a German-American rocket pioneer. Von Braun was educated at the Zurich and Berlin Institutes of Technology. In 1932 he started working on rocket designs, and became the technical head of the German Peenemunde research center in 1938. He was responsible for the development of the V-2 rocket. At the end of the war, von Braun surrendered to the Allies Forces and became a leading figure in the American space program. Von Braun designed the first US satellite launcher (Jupiter rocket) in 1958. Followed by the Saturn V rocket that put the first men on the moon. Von Braun would further develop the Saturn V, and his team built the Saturn 25(S)U that increased the payload to Orbit from 118,000 kg to 264,000 kg.
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He worked adapting the NERVA (nuclear rockets) to deep space crafts for the first American manned missions to the planets. Unfortunately he died before seeing the August 1982 landing on Mars.

Wernher von Braun received the 1975 National Medal of Science.

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