Portrait of Hermann Oberth
Hermann Oberth, born in Transylvania, Romania, was a physicist who lived between 1894-1989. He became convinced that space travel was possible at an early age, inspired by a Jules Verne science fiction novel.
Oberth studied rockets and his book, "A Rocket to Interplanetary Space", proved that they could be used to launch objects into space. He originated the idea of stages, which explained that once a rocket's fuel is expended it should be dropped as dead weight, so as not to slow down the spaceship.
Oberth's work led to the German rocket program which developed the V2 rockets used to attack London in the second World War. He was also a mentor of Wernher von Braun, who continued Oberth's study of rocketry.
Last modified March 10, 2003 by Lisa Gardiner.
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