Friday, March 19, 2010

Wernher von Braun (1912-1977)

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Von Braun was born on March 23rd, 1912 and died on June 16th, 1977. He was born in the town of Wirsitz, which was then part of the German Empire. He inherited the honor of being crowned a Baron from his family. He family was probably best classified as being aristocratic. His father was on the Federal Cabinet during the days of the Weimar Republic. His mother had a rich family tradition that could be traced back to the early European royalty. Von Braun only had one sibling which was his brother named Magnus Freiherr von Braun.

Von Braun enrolled at a boarding school at Ettersburg Castle and did not excel in math and physics. He later went to the Technical University of Berlin where he started to develop an interest for the math and sciences and got particularly interested in rocket-science.

He was the first to develop rocket technology and was very beneficial to his Nazi party and was commissioned an SS officer. He later moved to the US and began to work for NASA. During this time he invented the Saturn V launch vehicle. This was the first thing that could propel a spacecraft to the moon.

Von Braun later died in Alexandria, VA in 1977 at the age of 65. He died with many accomplishments as well as the recipient of the National Medal of Science in 1975.

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