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The German-American rocket engineer, Wernher von Braun, 1912-1977. In 1932 he started working on rocket design for the German military, and deve- loped a successful liquid-fuel rocket two years later. Under his leadership in 1942 the first true missile was built. He was responsible for the V-2 weapon used in World War II. Following the war von Braun was quickly taken to the US to lead a group that placed America's first satellite (Explorer I) into orbit in 1958. Von Braun was influential in the Saturn rocket that, in 1969, placed the first man on the moon. In 1972 he resigned from NASA disheartened by the American government's lack committment to space exploration.
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