Dr. Wernher von Braun stands in front of a Saturn IB launch vehicle.
In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, Dr. Wernher von Braun stands in front of a Saturn IB launch vehicle at Kennedy Space Flight Center on Jan. 22, 1968.
Dr. von Braun led a team of German rocket scientists, called the Rocket Team, to the United States, first to Fort Bliss/White Sands, later being transferred to the Army Ballistic Missile Agency at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. They were further transferred to the newly established NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, Alabama in 1960, and Dr. von Braun became the first Center Director.
Under von Braun's direction, MSFC developed the Mercury-Redstone, which put the first American in space; and later the Saturn rockets, Saturn I, Saturn IB, and Saturn V. The Saturn V launch vehicle put the first human on the surface of the Moon, and a modified Saturn V vehicle placed Skylab, the first United States' experimental space station, into Earth orbit.
Dr. von Braun was MSFC Director from July 1960 to February 1970.
Each weekday, SPACE.com looks back at the history of spaceflight through (archive).