FDI by Hermann Oberth
number 690 Rudolf Nebel
German, Hermann Oberth,
Tsiolkovsky, and American Robert
Goddard are considered the three founding fathers of rocketry and
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Hermann Oberth, by birth a Romanian but by nationality a German was
born on June 25, 1894, in Hermannstadt, Romania, Oberth became mesmerized by Jules Verne's novel, From Earth to the
Moon as an 11-year-old boy. He recalled reading the book “five or six times
and, finally, knew it by heart.” This book, and other space flight literature
that he devoured in the coming years led Oberth to intensive study of the
technical aspects of interplanetary travel.
The New Rocket Men
Between World Wars I and II,
especially in the 1930s, rocket enthusiasts and rocket clubs were active in Germany, the US, Russia and other countries. Experimental rockets were
designed, tested and sometimes flown. Some of the experiments used liquid
fuel, thoughsolid-fuel rockets
were also developed. In the latter, the fuel gradually burned off (as it did in
rockets), and the entire fuel container was under pressure, supplying hot
gas directly to the De-Laval nozzle.
Hermann Oberth - The Rocket
into Interplanetary Space
The hotbed of rocketry was Germany, where Hermann Oberth, a transplanted Romanian,
vigorously promoted the idea of space flight, even though his doctoral thesis
"The Rocket into Interplanetary Space" was rejected by the university of Heidelberg. Dr. Hermann Oberth, was considered the foremost authority on rocketry
outside the United States. In 1923, he published a book
about rocket travel into outer space. Because of his important writings, many
small rocket societies sprang up around the world. Oberth was an early member
of the "Society for Space Travel" (Verein fuer Raumschiffahrt or VfR)
formed in 1927. In 1930 the VfR successfully tested a liquid fuel engine with a
conical nozzle which developed a thrust of 70 newtons (about 10 newtons will
lift 1 kg). By 1932 it was flying rockets with 600-newton motors.
Nebel, Rudolf (1894-1978)
German rocket enthusiast.
Worked for Oberth; helped found VfR; built largest prewar German test rockets.
Work shut down by government in 1934. Did not work on rockets during WW2.
Promoted civilian rebirth of German rocketry in 1950's. Rudolf Nebel played a key
role in promoting early rocketry efforts in Germany. As part of publicity for the film Frau im
Mond, director Fritz Lang retained rocket pioneer Hermann Oberth as technical
consultant. Lang provided Oberth with funds to build and launch a
liquid-propellant rocket to publicise the film. One of the assistants hired by
Oberth to fabricate the rocket was Rudolph Nebel.