Herman Potocnik, Austrian rocket engineer

Herman Potocnik, Austrian rocket engineer

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Credit: NASA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Herman Potocnik (1892-1929), Austrian rocket engineer, also known as Hermann Noordung. Potocnik was born in Slovenia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He served in the Austrian army in World War I, reaching the rank of First Lieutenant. He is best remembered for writing an early book on spaceflight, Das Problem der Befahrung des Weltraums (The Problem of Space Travel), published in 1928. The book contained ground-breaking ideas, such as space stations. Potocnik, however, did not live to see the development of spaceflight, and died the following year from pneumonia.

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