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June 23, 2014 - Rocket Man and More

Rocket Man and More Hermann Oberth, born 120 years ago this week, was a pioneer of modern rocketry. With his protégé, Wernher von Braun, Oberth played a leading role in the development of liquid-fuel rockets in Germany during the 1920s and 1930s. His contributions were recognized by NASA, which invited him to attend the 1969 launch of Apollo 11. In 1923, Oberth published a book entitled “The Rocket Into Interplanetary Space” in which he described, in part, how rockets could be used to launch telescopes into space, beyond the compromising effects of Earth’s atmosphere. Oberth’s seminal idea inspired generations of scientists, and it has been realized in every orbiting telescope, including the James Webb Space Telescope seen here, slated for launch near the end of this decade.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

June 23-29, 2014

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 23

Moon phase Tuesday 24

St. Jean Baptiste Day (Québec)

Venus 1.3° north of Moon

1999: FUSE spacecraft launched

Moon phase Wednesday 25

1894: Hermann Oberth born
1992: STS-50 Columbia launched
1997: Progress spacecraft collides with Mir Spektr module
1999: Gemini North telescope dedicated

Moon phase Thursday 26

1730: Charles Messier born
1963: Syncom 2 satellite launched
1984: First space shuttle launch pad abort (STS-41D)

Moon phase Friday 27

New Moon 4:09 AM ET

1982: STS-4 Columbia launched
1995: STS-71 Atlantis launched
1997: NEAR-Shoemaker probe flies by asteroid Mathilde
2013: IRIS spacecraft launched

Moon phase Saturday 28

Moon phase Sunday 29

1868: George Ellery Hale born
1961: Transit 4A launched, first nuclear-powered satellite
1971: Soyuz 11 crew dies during reentry

Suggestions for new history dates or better links? Corrections for errors on this page? Please e-mail me.