DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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German rocket scientists and aerospace engineers Hermann Oberth (1894-1989) and Wernher von Braun (1912-1977). Oberth presented the earliest mathematical analyses of the theoretical and practical aspects of human travel in space. In 1922, Oberth's doctoral dissertation was rejected. He had it privately published in 1923 as Die Rakete zu den Planetenraumen (By Rocket into Planetary Space). It was later expanded as Ways to travel in Space (1929). Many of Oberth's inventions and suggestions were used in the design of the first rockets launched by the USA and the USSR.
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