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Werner Von Braun and the development of rockets.

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Wernher Von Braun (1912-1977)

Wernher Von Braun was a German physicist and aeronautical engineer who led the construction and design of the V-2 rocket, which was used post World War I.  Von Braun was recognised prior to the development of the rockets by the Nazi party for his enthusiasm in Verein fur Raumschiffarht (VfR), a rocket society. Therefore in 1934, he led the development on V-2 (the alcohol-oxygen-fuelled A-4) rocket, which was a guided missile, used to attack London through Hitler’s orders.  

Prior to the construction of the V-2 rocket, several older versions were also designed, known as the Aggregate series, which consisted of the A-1 – A-4 rockets. The first rocket in the series was designed

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After the launch of the V-2 rocket on London, Von Braun came to the realisation that “the rocket worked perfectly except for landing on the wrong planet”, claiming that he never intended on harming anyone and they were using it for the wrong purpose. Therefore Von Braun had decided that his team of engineers and himself should surrender to another country, and came to the conclusion of America, which was the ideal nation. In 1945, the foreign nation then realised the importance of their knowledge in rocketry and hired them on their missile program. Prior to his decision, he was arrested in 1944 and was kept behind bars for 2 weeks, although Walter Dornberger and Albert Speer got him released after a long disagreement and misinterpretation.

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Redstone was capable of flights from 92.5 km to 323 km into space, which was used for mid range missile in Mercury missions. Whereas Jupiter-C was a modified Redstone with a height of 21.2 m. It was used to put satellites into orbits.

In 1970, Wernher Von Braun was appointed National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Deputy Associate Administrator for Planning, and retired on May 26, 1972. Von Braun was globally known as the scientist who drove his team and America into the success of sending the first satellite into orbit.


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  • Bosi, S, O’Byrne, J, Fletcher, P, Khachan, J, Stanger, J & Woodward, S 2010, In2 Physics @ HSC, Pearson
  • Wernher von Braun n.d., Britannica Encyclopedia, accessed 14 November 2011, <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/78018/Wernher-von-Braun>.
  • NASA 2006, Wernher von Braun, accessed 14 November 2011, <http://history.nasa.gov/sputnik/braun.html>.


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