The Voice of Dr. Wernher von Braun
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|The Voice of Dr. Wernher von Braun |
by Wernher von Braun (edited by Irene E. Willhite)
Dr. Wernher von Braun presented approximately 500 speeches in the years from 1947 to 1976. His topics varied widely, from education and religion to the Cold War and space exploration. Inevitably, he managed to relate a general survey of the space program into a majority of his speeches, and extol the virtues of space exploration as they relate to human values and society. Forty-seven of his speeches have been selected and presented in chronological order in this book, giving the reader a comprehensive picture of von Braun's experiences and passions, the effects that society had on him throughout his life, and the contributions that he in turn made to society. His strong feelings concerning the former Soviet Union and the Cold War are seen to be a natural consequence of having lived and worked his early life in a dictatorial Germany. By comparison, his appreciation of the quality of life in America comes through clearly. Wernher von Braun was known as the quintessential rocket scientist, the leading progenitor of both the V-2 missile and the Saturn V launch vehicle, the two land-mark accomplishments in the field of rocketry. But inside the scientist was a man of passion and conviction, a man whose speeches were always food for thought, as this book makes abundantly clear. Dr. Wernher von Braun's lifework was rocketry. As a teenager he was a member of the German rocket society and during World War II he was the leader of the renowned "rocket team" that developed the V-2 ballistic missile, which became the starting point for both the Soviet and American space programs. Von Braun's true passion was the exploration of space, and it was this that he promoted during his lifetime, rocketry being a means to that end. Wernher von Braun and his team transferred to the newly established NASA in 1960, where they developed the giant Saturn V launch vehicle that propelled the Apollo spacecraft from Earth's surface to the Moon.
"An insightful look at one of the most well-known historical figures in the American space program."News & Notes, NASA History Division.
"An interesting reflection of von Braun's attitude to the space program."Universe Today
"A man whose speeches were always food for thought, as this book makes abundantly clear."Quest magazine
"A rare look into the mind of one of space exploration's most important pioneers. Recommended."SFREVU