Photos: Wernher von Braun, Space Pioneer Rememembered

Dr. von Braun at His Desk

NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center

Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Director Dr. Wernher von Braun at his desk with moon lander in background and rocket models on his desk. Dr. von Braun served as Marshall's first director from 1960 until his transfer to NASA Headquarters in 1970.

Dr. Wernher von Braun

NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center

Dr. Wernher von Braun served as Marshall Space Flight Center's first director from July 1, 1960 until January 27, 1970, when he was appointed NASA Deputy Associate Administrator for Plarning. Following World War II, Dr. von Braun and his German colleagues arrived in the United States under Project Paperclip to continue their rocket development work. In 1950, von Braun and his rocket team were transferred from Ft. Bliss, Texas to Huntsville, Alabama to work for the Army's rocket program at Redstone Arsenal and later, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. Under von Braun's leadership, Marshall developed the Saturn V launch vehicle which took Apollo astronauts to the moon.

Von Braun Spaceship Concept 1952

von Braun's concept for a re-usable spaceship appeared on a Collier's magazine cover in 1952.

Celebrating U.S. Explorer 1's Discovery of the Radiation Belt


U.S. Explorer 1 in early 1958 discovered the radiation belt around the Earth. Holding a model of the satellite in celebration after its successful orbiting: (left to right) William H. Pickering, former director of JPL, which built and operated the satellite; James A. van Allen, center, of the State University of Iowa, designed and built the instrument on Explorer that detected the radiation that circles Earth; and at right, Wernher von Braun, leader of the Army's Redstone Arsenal team.

Von Braun and President Eisenhower


Dr. Werhner von Braun, Marshall Space Flight Center's first director, points out a detail regarding the first stage of the Saturn rocket to President Dwight D. Eisenhower. President Eisenhower was at Marshall to participate in the Center's dedication ceremony, Sept. 8, 1960.

President Kennedy at Cape Canaveral with von Braun, Seamans


Dr. Wernher von Braun (center) describes the Saturn Launch System to President John F. Kennedy (right, pointing). NASA Deputy Administrator Robert Seamans stands to the left of von Braun.

The President and the Scientist


President John F. Kennedy visited Marshall Space Flight Center on September 11, 1962. Here President Kennedy and Dr. Wernher von Braun, MSFC Director, tour one of the laboratories.

Saturn V Orientation


Dr. George Mueller gives Saturn V orientation to President John F. Kennedy and officals in Blockhouse 37. Front row, left to right: George Low, Dr. Kurt Debus, Dr. Robert Seamans, James Webb, President Kennedy, Dr. Hugh Dryden, Dr. Wernher von Braun, General Leighten Davis, and Senator George Smathers.

Von Braun and Lady Bird Johnson


Marshall Space Flight Center Director Dr. Wernher von Braun presents Lady Bird Johnson with an inscribed hard hat during the First Lady's March 24, 1964, visit. While at the Marshall Center, Mrs. Johnson addressed the center' employees, toured facilities and witnessed test firings of a Saturn I first stage and an F-1 engine. Dr. von Braun is wearing a cowboy hat presented to him months earlier by Lyndon Johnson during a visit to the Johnson ranch in Texas.

Dr. von Braun on Zero-G Flight

NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center

Dr. von Braun inside the KC-135 in flight. The KC-135 provide NASA's Reduced-Gravity Program the unique weightlessness or zero-g environment of space flight for testing and training of human and hardware reactions. The recent version, KC-135A, is a specially modified turbojet transport which flies parabolic arcs to produce weightlessness periods of 20 to 25 seconds and its cargo bay test area is approximately 60 feet long, 10 feet wide, and 7 feet high. Image dated October 1, 1968.

Apollo 11 Mission Officials After Apollo 11 Liftoff


Apollo 11 mission officials relax in the Launch Control Center following the successful Apollo 11 liftoff on July 16, 1969. Second from left (with binoculars) stands Dr. Wernher von Braun, Director of the Marshall Space Flight Center.

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