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Wernher Von Braun - Essay Example

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Wernher Von Braun was a German-American space architect, rocket scientist and aerospace engineer (Ward 3). During the second world war, his ambitious intellect and vision placed him among the contributing personalities towards the progress of rocket technology…
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Wernher Von Braun
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Wernher Von Braun

Download file to see previous pages... Working as an assistant to a German scientist known as Hermann Oberth, Von Braun was fascinated by the experiments they carried out on liquid-fueled rockets. He pursued his ambition and dream and propelled aviation and the world beyond the humble, early stages of rocketry to the planets and the moon. He had a vision to widen mankind’s knowledge by exploring space and opening the terrestrial world to mankind. His efforts and contributions had, and continue to have, great impacts on the aviation industry and the world at large. As the leader of the team that developed Germany’s rocket program, he even drew criticism for contributing to the negativities during the second world war. This essay will address the way his work has affected and contributed to aviation and the world. Von Braun’s achievements make him the most prominent, even if not the first, spaceflight advocate and rocket engineer of the 20th century. To date, his research, dedication and hard work are still considered the blueprint of peaceful space exploration and moon landings (Neufeld 7). His presence in the aviation industry began with the German army, and his association with the Peenemunde Rocket Center put him in the limelight of the world’s primary rocket program. At the rocket center, Von Braun and his team received more facilities than their predecessors in aviation who had designed aircraft for military purposes. After his successful launch of what was initially called the A-4 missile, the Nazi took special interest in him and started mass production, where he led the team that designed combat rockets for the army (Ward 14). The design of the rocket, later renamed V-2, was created and developed by Von Braun as the technical director of the space center. It featured a missile that carried its own oxidant as well as fuel, a key aspect in modern day aviation technology as it became the immediate model used by present day Russia and the United States in space explorations (Neufeld 16). The downside of this development, though, was that critics have faulted him for developing weapons of mass destruction that unleashed vengeance on civilian populations (Petersen 21). However, apart from that single angle of criticism, the rest of his contributions affected aviation and the world positively, because he never intended his developments to be used against humans, as he was a staunch Christian as well. The V-2 rocket became Von Braun’s most significant contribution to the development of rocket technology (Nelson 29). It pioneered operational, guided missiles in the world under his direction, setting in motion the development of the present day space travel and ballistic missiles. Through his projects, he influenced his team to great understanding of rocket propulsion, guidance systems and aerodynamics, and his concepts are still in use to date. His work influenced the contemporary space launch vehicle and the missile expertise in the United States, China, Russia, Britain and France (Nelson 35). To mankind and the world, he contributed towards alleviating the disastrous effects of the bombings of the second world war. He was against the use of his developments to attack humanity. He voiced his opposition against war policies in Germany and led his team of scientists and their families in fleeing to the United States. The significance of the fleeing was that the mass production of the V-2 rockets in Germany could not progress much without his input, effectively cutting down the assault on civilians. This was achieved by surrendering themselves to American forces, where they were granted permission to carry on with their rocket research programs under the watch of the United States government (Petersen 19). The German space ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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