Von Braun's Accomplishments

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There are few scientists that have been renowned for causing great change in the United States, and Dr. Wernher von Braun was one of those. In addition, he was arguably one of most important scientists of the twentieth century. There is much that has come from the actions of this one man. The U.S. military was able to attain some of the world’s best rockets, and gained a critical edge in the Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union. Von Braun was also a strong advocate for space programs and inspired many individuals through determination and perseverance to shoot for their dreams. As a German Baron and a Nazi SS Officer, during the 1930s and World War II, von Braun led the German rocket program that built and launched the…show more content…
Von Braun knew that although the Americans were well capable of launching the first satellite, the initiative was not taken. He was at the centerfold of the outcry after Sputnik I was launched. President Eisenhower’s Secretary of Defense, Neil McElroy, was informed by von Braun: “We knew they were going to do it! Vanguard will never make it! We have the hardware on the shelf! For God’s sake, turn us loose and let us do something! Sir, when you get to Washington you’ll find all hell has broken loose. I wish you would keep one thought in mind through all the noise and confusion: We can fire a satellite into orbit sixty days from the moment you give us the green light.” (Piszkiewicz 111). To further rub in victory, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev was reported mocking the Americans with disposition to the Germans. “If Germans helped Russians, why don’t Germans help the United States? After all, the American troops seized the chief designer of the V-2, took him to America, and now he builds rockets out there” (Lasby 6). Khrushchev served as an excellent antagonist to help drive the American space effort. His mockery must have furthered the determination that many of the scientists had during those…show more content…
Piszkiewicz, Dennis. Wernher Von Braun : The Man Who Sold the Moon. Westport, Conneticut: Praeger Publishers, 1998. 3. "Wernher Von Braun." Scientists: Their Lives and Works, Vols. 1-7. Online Edition. U*X*L, 2006. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2009. <http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC>. 4. "Wernher von Braun." World of Earth Science. Online. Thomson Gale, 2006. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2009. <http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC>. 5. Dunar, Andrew and Stephen Waring. Power to Explore: A History of Marshall Space Flight Center. Washington D.C.: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA History Office, Office of Policy and Plans, 1999. Obtained on 12-4-06 from <http://history.msfc.nasa.gov/vonbraun/excerpts.html>. 6. Lasby, Clarence G. Project Paperclip: German Scientists and the Cold War. New York: Athenium, 1971. 7. Ordway III, Frederick I. and Ernst Stuhlinger. Wernher von Braun, Crusader for Space: A Biographical Memoir. Malabar: Krieger Publishing Company, 1994. 8. Ward, Bob. Dr. Space: The Life of Wernher von Braun. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press,

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