Von Braun's Mars Project, 1952

Von Braun's Mars Project, 1952

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Credit: DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Von Braun's Mars Project (German: Das Marsprojekt). This work, by German rocket scientist Wernher von Braun (1912-1977), was the appendix to a science fiction novel he wrote in the USA in 1948. Published in German in 1952 by the spaceflight journal Weltraumfahrt, it was published in English in 1953. Von Braun's plans involved a crew of 70 and a fleet of ten spacecraft, gliders with propellant tanks (shown here). The gliders were intended to land on the surface of Mars (upper right), though it was later found that Mars' atmosphere was too thin for this to work. Von Braun later worked as a key figure in the American space program.

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