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That Time Wernher von Braun’s Rocket Tried To Kill My Father (Repost)
That Time Wernher von Braun’s Rocket Tried To Kill My Father (Repost)

Keith’s note: As best I can collate the facts, on 18 March 1945, 79 years ago today, a V-2 missile was launched from Statenkwartier in The Hague in occupied Netherlands at 9:25 am by Germany’s Battery 485. My father was almost killed when it struck London a few minutes later. My 50 year career was enabled by that V-2. A direct descendant, a Saturn V, designed by the same V-2 team, placed Americans on the Moon. The other day, yet another direct descendant, the SpaceX Starship, leapt above the sky. I originally wrote this story in 2019 as the Apollo 11 anniversary approached. Humanity now lives in space permanently. Our spacecraft have left the solar system. Our space telescopes look back to the beginning of time. We are spacefarers. Space technology has its roots in weapons of war. America’s early accomplishments in space were achieved with direct use of Nazi technology and personnel. Russia followed a similar path. Today North Korea, Iran, Russia and other nations use rocket designs with a clear lineage originating with Hitler’s V-2. All technology is iterative. Smart technology persists and finds peaceful uses despite its war making origins.

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  • NASA Watch
  • March 18, 2024
von Braun @100

Remembering the Nazi Scientist Who Built the Rockets for Apollo, The Atlantic “Few figures in the history of technology provoke a reaction as quickly as Wernher von Braun. The rocket scientist was a card-carrying Nazi who built the world’s first ballistic missile with slave labor from concentration camps. As the war wound down, he surrendered to the Americans and took his rocket-building team and talents to the United States. Eventually, […]

  • NASA Watch
  • March 23, 2012