This week’s profile engineer is Dr. Wernher von Braun, a German-American rocket scientist, astronautics engineer and space architect. Dr. Wernher von Braun moved to the United States following a well orchestrated surrender of 500 top German rocket scientists following the Allied capture of the V-2 rocket complex he was the leader of. The V-2 was the immediate predecessor of the rockets used in space exploration programs in the United States and the former Soviet Union.
Following his emigration to the United States, Dr. Braun and his German team worked for the US Army at Fort Bliss, Texas. In 1950 von Braun’s team moved to Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala., where they built the Army’s Redstone ballistic missile.
In 1960 von Braun became the first Director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and the chief architect of the Saturn V launch vehicle, the superbooster that would later propel Americans to the moon
Wernher von Braun was said to be the preeminent rocket engineer of the 20th century and was one of the most prominent spokesmen of space exploration in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s. He passed away on June 16, 1977.