Another entry into the “Who the heck is series” of often forgotten rocketry pioneers.
Josef Stemmer was an early Swiss space pioneer. At the early age of 11 years old he began to design spaceship based on some of his heroes of the day including Oberth and Goddard. Around 1930 he began building small solid propellant rockets and began experimenting with liquid fuel in 1938. Soon after he stopped his experiments and began publishing on the subject. In 1944 and 1945 he published booklets on rocket propulsion. These were some of the first “How To” publications on the subject. His publications also contained details on the German war rocket developements.
In 1950 Stemmer founded the Schweizerische Astronautische Arbeitsgemeinschaft (Swiss Astronautical Study Group). In 1951 he served as the president of the new International Astronautical Federation (IAF).He gave talks on spaceflight and rocket propulsion at this time. Even though he was often ridiculed he stood fast to his beliefs of space travel.