Max Valier driving a rocket car, 1930

Max Valier driving a rocket car, 1930

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Credit: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Max Valier driving a rocket car, 1930. Max Valier (1895-1930), Austrian rocket pioneer, was a founding member in 1927 of the German Verein fur Raumschiffahrt (VfR, Spaceflight Society). 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 RAK 7. The car seen here is the RAK 6. Less than a month later, Valier was killed when a rocket exploded in his laboratory in Berlin. This early work on rocket cars and aircraft led to the development of liquid-fueled rockets and the beginnings of space rocketry.

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