25 Sep Wernher von Braun
Dead: 16 June 1977
In: Ivy Hill Cemetery, King Street, Alexandria, Virginia, Stati Uniti
He was a German-born German scientist and engineer, one of the leading figures in missile development in Nazi Germany first and then in the United States, where he is considered the founder of the American space program.
Before and during the Second World War he worked on the development of rockets in Germany, a field in which he achieved unprecedented successes. He was the creator of the design and construction of the V-2 rockets that struck London during the Second World War. After the war, together with other scientists of his group, he surrendered to the US forces which, understanding his high scientific talent, immediately employed him in the development of Operation Secret Paperclip. Von Braun worked with the US military, to be finally assimilated into NASA.
In the years of collaboration with NASA he was director of the new Marshall Space Flight Center and designer of the launch vehicle Saturn V, the superpropulsore that brought the Apollo mission to the Moon in 1969, the true culmination of all his scientific work. As defined by NASA, he was "undoubtedly the greatest scientist of missile and aerospace technology in history". In 1975 he received the National Medal of Science.