Wernher von Braun and Willy Ley

Wernher von Braun and Willy Ley

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Credit: NASA/VRS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Wernher von Braun and Willy Ley. German-American rocket scientist Wernher von Braun (1912-1977, left) discussing Project Orbiter with German- American science writer Willy Ley (1906-1939). Project Orbiter was dropped for Project Vanguard, which launched America's first artificial satellite, Explorer 1, into Earth orbit. Explorer 1 was launched on a rocket (Jupiter) designed by von Braun. Von Braun started his career in Nazi Germany where he developed the V-1 and V-2 rockets. He was arrested for descent by the Nazis and on release surrendered to US forces. Ley was an amateur rocket enthusiast who was an advocate of spaceflight. He fled Germany in 1935.

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