75 years of Innovators: Werner von Braun

Jan. 8, 2004
Werner von Braun was a life-long champion of space travel and rocketry.

In the 75 years since Machine Design began publication, here are some of the people who have changed the way we live.

Werner von Braun
Rocket man
1912-1977

In his career with the Army and NASA, he was instrumental in building the Pershing, Redstone, Jupiter, and Jupiter-C ballistic missiles, the Explorer satellite, Saturn 1 and Saturn V boosters, and Skylab, the first space station. He was also a key member of the Gemini and Apollo projects. His work not only changed the course of space exploration, it played a huge role in the Cold War.

He joined the German Army in 1932 to work on ballistic missiles. He ended up team leader on the V-2 project, one of the first long-range rocket-based weapons. But he was still fascinated by space travel and made plans for building interplanetary rockets. When the first V-2 hit London, von Braun told his colleagues, "The rocket worked perfectly except for landing on the wrong planet." The Nazis arrested him for crimes against the state, saying he should concentrate on bigger and better weapons rather than frivolous notions like sending rockets to the Moon. Fortunately for him, his superior talked them out of prosecuting.

In 1945, knowing Germany would lose the war, he negotiated the surrender of 500 top rocket scientists to the U.S. where many went to work on U.S. missiles as part of Project Paperclip.

Sponsored Recommendations

From concept to consumption: Optimizing success in food and beverage

April 9, 2024
Identifying opportunities and solutions for plant floor optimization has never been easier. Download our visual guide to quickly and efficiently pinpoint areas for operational...

A closer look at modern design considerations for food and beverage

April 9, 2024
With new and changing safety and hygiene regulations at top of mind, its easy to understand how other crucial aspects of machine design can get pushed aside. Our whitepaper explores...

Cybersecurity and the Medical Manufacturing Industry

April 9, 2024
Learn about medical manufacturing cybersecurity risks, costs, and threats as well as effective cybersecurity strategies and essential solutions.

Condition Monitoring for Energy and Utilities Assets

April 9, 2024
Condition monitoring is an essential element of asset management in the energy and utilities industry. The American oil and gas, water and wastewater, and electrical grid sectors...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Machine Design, create an account today!