Max Valier, Austrian rocket pioneer

Max Valier, Austrian rocket pioneer

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Credit: DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Max Valier (1895-1930), Austrian rocket pioneer. Valier was born in South Tyrol, and studied physics at the University of Innsbruck. After World War I, he became a science writer and wrote books on space travel. In 1927 he helped found the German spaceflight society (Verein fur Raumschiffahrt, VfR). In 1928 and 1929 he worked with Fritz von Opel on several rocket cars and aircraft. On 19 April 1930, Valier performed the first test drive of a rocket car with liquid propulsion, the Valier-Heylandt RAK 7. Less than a month later, Valier was killed when an alcohol- fuelled rocket exploded in his laboratory in Berlin.

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