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(1894-1989) Austro-Hungarian born German engineer and physicist, in his early years much influenced by the work of Jules Verne. He is of great importance in the theory and development of Rocket science from as early as 1917, and his (rejected) doctoral thesis – Die Rakete zu den Planetenräumen ["The Rocket into Interplanetary Space"] (1923 chap; exp vt Wege zur Raumschiffahrt ["Ways to Spaceflight"] 1929) – directly inspired the founding of the Verein für Raumschiffahrt [the German "Society for Space Travel"], by Willy Ley and other significant proponents of rocket-propelled Space Flight. In 1928 the UFA studios offered Oberth the chance to build a rocket as a publicity stunt for Fritz Lang's film Die Frau im Mond (1929); the project collapsed. In 1931, with Wernher von Braun, he successfully launched several rockets, an initiative that led eventually to the German development at Peenemünde of the V-1 and V-2 rockets that were deployed at the end of World War Two. In his later life, Oberth was involved in speculations about the extraterrestrial origin of UFOs. [JC]
born Hermannstadt, Austro-Hungary [now Sibiu, Romania]: 25 June 1894
died Nuremberg, Germany: 28 December 1989
Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction edited by John Clute, David Langford, Peter Nicholls and Graham Sleight.
Accessed 02:23 am on 18 November 2019.