Today is the Birthday of one of the major fathers of modern Rocketry, Hermann Oberth. Born in Romania on June 25th 1894 he became obsessed with Jules Verne’s novel “From the Earth to the Moon” when he was still a child. Later transplanted in Germany Oberth became the great promoter of space travel. First with his small booklet/thesis “The Rocket into Interplanetary Space” and then as an early member of the “Society for Space Travel” (Verein fuer Raumschiffahrt or VfR) that was formed in 1927. In 1929 he released his book Wege zur Raumschiffahrt (“Ways to Spaceflight”)

Oberth Timeline:

1929 – Static Firing of liquid fueled rocket engine

1929 – Lost sight in left eye while working as the technical consultant on Frau im Mond

1930 – took on a young assistant – Werner Von Braun

After the War – In the years following World War II, Oberth came to the United States to work on research with his former student Wernher von Braun

1989 – Oberth died in Nuremburg, West Germany, on Dec. 29, 1989, at the age of 95.

Oberth in foreground – image credit: NASA