Wernher von Braun: Apollo Architect
Wernher von Braun after surrendering to U.S. forces German rocket engineer Wernher von Braun (with arm in cast) and his brother Magnus (second from right) after surrendering to U.S. forces, May 2, 1945. MSFC/NASA

Wernher von Braun: Apollo Architect

Wernher von Braun was a German engineer who played a prominent role in all aspects of rocketry and space exploration, first in Germany and after World War II in the United States. He designed and developed the German V-2 rocket and was the Chief Architect of the Saturn V rocket, designed primarily for the Apollo Space Missions. Dr. Wernher von Braun Photo credits: NASA As a youth, he became enamored with the possibilities of space exploration by reading the work of…

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Katherine Johnson: The Human Computer
Katherine Johnson (2008). Photo credits: NASA

Katherine Johnson: The Human Computer

"Katherine G. Johnson refused to be limited by society's expectations of her gender and race while expanding the boundaries of humanity's reach."President Obama Katherine Johnson was an American mathematician who calculated and analyzed the flight paths of many spacecraft during her more than three decades with the U.S. space program. Her work helped send astronauts to the Moon. She calculated the precise trajectories that would let Apollo 11 land on the moon in 1969 and, after Neil Armstrong’s history-making moonwalk, let…

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Tipu Sultan & The World’s First War Rocket
A painting showing the British forces confronted with Mysorean rockets

Tipu Sultan & The World’s First War Rocket

It is far better to live like a lion for a day then to live like a jackal for hundred years.Tipu Sultan Tipu Sultan, also known as Tipu Sahab or the Tiger of Mysore, was the ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore based in South India and a pioneer of rocket artillery. Tippu was instructed in military tactics by French officers in the employ of his father, Hyder Ali, who was the Muslim ruler of Mysore. In 1767 Tippu commanded a…

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Pedro Paulet: Peruvian Space Age Pioneer
Pedro Paulet, padre de la Aeronaútica Moderna

Pedro Paulet: Peruvian Space Age Pioneer

Pedro Eleodoro Paulet Mostajo (July 2, 1874 – January 30, 1945) was a Peruvian diplomat who allegedly in 1895 was the first person to build a liquid-propellant rocket engine and, in 1900, the first person to build a modern rocket propulsion system. German V-2 inventor Wernher von Braun considered Paulet one of the "fathers of aeronautics." Pedro Paulet, padre de la Aeronaútica Moderna The first practical working liquid propellant rocket motor was claimed by Paulet in1895. He operated a conical motor,…

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George Cayley: The Father of Aviation
Model of Sir George Caley’s “Aerial Carriage”, 1843. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

George Cayley: The Father of Aviation

I am well convinced that Aerial Navigation will form a most prominent feature in the progress of civilization.George Cayley Sir George Cayley was an English pioneer of aerial navigation and aeronautical engineering and designer of the first successful glider to carry a human being aloft. He is one of the most important people in the history of aeronautics. George Cayley (1773—1857) Cayley’s contribution to the history of manned flight is so important that he is recognized by many as “The Father…

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Margaret Hamilton: The Software Queen
President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Margaret H. Hamilton during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Nov. 22, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

Margaret Hamilton: The Software Queen

Looking back, we were the luckiest people in the world. There was no choice but to be pioneers; no time to be beginners.Margaret Hamilton Margaret Hamilton is an American computer scientist who was one of the first computer software programmers; she created the term software engineer to describe her work. She helped write the computer code for the command and lunar modules used on the Apollo missions to the Moon in the late 1960s and early ’70s. Photograph of Margaret Hamilton…

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Robert Goddard: 1st Liquid-Fuel Rocket
Goddard loading a bazooka in 1918 Photo Credits: NASA

Robert Goddard: 1st Liquid-Fuel Rocket

“It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.”Robert H. Goddard Dr. Robert Hutchings Goddard (1882-1945) is considered the father of modern rocket propulsion. Goddard was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, on October 5, 1882. He was often ill as a child and had extended absences from school. He attended college at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute where he received his BS in 1908. From there, he went on…

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Maxime Faget: An Engineering Genius
S69-64137 (1969) --- Maxime A. Faget, Director of Engineering and Development, Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston, Texas, holds a model of an early space shuttle vehicle. Photo credit: NASA

Maxime Faget: An Engineering Genius

“It’s hard to tell people how you invent something. You see a problem-you solve a problem. I enjoy solving problems.”Maxime A. Faget Maxime Faget was a Belizean-born American mechanical engineer. Faget was the designer of the Mercury spacecraft, and contributed to the later Gemini and Apollo spacecraft as well as the Space Shuttle. Faget developed many of the innovative ideas and design concepts that have been incorporated into all of the manned spacecraft flown by the United States. His accomplishments included…

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François Hussenot: Flight Data Recorder
François Hussenot. Photo credits: Wikipedia/Hussenographe

François Hussenot: Flight Data Recorder

The pilot and manufacturer Colonel François Hussenot was a French engineer who was responsible for inventing the first flight recorder back in the late 1930s. The celebrated "black box" was manufactured by Sagem which got later acquired by Safran Electronics & Defense in 2005. François Hussenot began his career in 1935 as a test engineer at the Centre d'Essais de Matériels Aériens (CEMA) in Villacoublay, then at the Centre d'Essais en Vol (CEV) in Marignane. He specialized in studying, manufacturing, and…

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