What if von Braun refused the nazi regime to design rockets?

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ckikilwai

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Von Braun is nazi past has never been forgotten or forgiven.<br />Although he was the man who took the US to the with his superrocket, he also built the V2 for Hitler, who killed many people (including the people who had to build the rocket).<br /><br />But what if he refused the Nazis to work for them, what would have been the consequences to spaceflight and civilization itself? Would there be manned spaceflight today without the V2?<br /><br />(I actually started this thread because I was frustrated that von braun and his V2's were only mentioned once in the history lessons, but during our lessons about the cold war, we just skipped the whole space race)
 
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bpfeifer

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Greetings,<br /><br />First, any good books covering the history of rocketry written in the past 15 years do not gloss over von Braun's association with Nazi Germany. It is a complicated topic, but it is clear that he participated because of his love of rocketry, and ignored many of the things he knew was going on in the country.<br /><br />Secondly, He was only the most talented of a very talented team building rockets in both the US and Germany. Without him, the field would still look very similar today. Perhapse one of his most lasting influences, was his stepping stone concept of solar system exploration. He stongly promoted building simple unmanned rockets, followed by manned sub-orbital, then manned orbital. These steps we followed. After that he wanted to built a large space station that was essentiallly a space dry-dock for assembling the larger vehicles needed to explor the moon and the rest of the planets.<br /><br />You can see how US exploration strategy always revolves around this concept even if we don't follow it exactly. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> Brian J. Pfeifer http://sabletower.wordpress.com<br /> The Dogsoldier Codex http://www.lulu.com/sabletower<br /> </div>
 
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jimfromnsf

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His concept has hamstrung the US space program with the perceived need of a spacestation
 
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ckikilwai

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I actually meant historically, because the V2 was the base for the rockets of the space race.<br />Stalin was so obsessed by the German V2 that he to wanted such missiles.<br />Korolyov was released out of the gulag to go to Germany to investigate the German rocket technology.<br />After the first H bom was detonated the Russians designed the R7 and so the space race started.<br />The US army also became interested in the V2 and started to develop new kind of rockets, but only started a real space program after the Soviets did the first step.<br /><br />Without the V2 Korolyov probably died in the gulag, and it would have taken the Soviets a decade longer to develop intercontinental rockets.<br />The US probably designed some rockets, and had a small space program, but it would have never so huge as it is today. <br /><br />and @ Jimfromnsf, I think the ISS was accepted because of building international relationships, doing science and wasn't designed to be a stepping stone to the moon or other planets like von Braun's concept.
 
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jimfromnsf

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"and @ Jimfromnsf, I think the ISS was accepted because of building international relationships, doing science and wasn't designed to be a stepping stone to the moon or other planets like von Braun's concept."<br /><br />Von Braun and NASA pushed the station thoughout the 60s, 70's and 80's. He started the vision, it didn't matter what the reason was. It was an institutional fixation.<br /><br /><br />Building international relationships was not part of the reasons for the space station. For the ISS, yes, but not for A spacestation
 
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josh_simonson

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ISS is not a piece of logistical infrastructure as envisioned by Von Braun. NASA diverged from his 'vision' when they created STS and they've been doing things for political reasons rather than technical ones ever since.<br /><br />You can't blame the mapmaker if you get lost because you didn't follow the map!
 
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robotical

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"they've been doing things for political reasons rather than technical ones ever since. "<br /><br />Apollo wasn't for political reasons? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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jimfromnsf

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Some say the map was flaw. (This New Ocean). Von Braun thought a manned presence was needed where most of the tasks are by unmanned spacecraft (comsats, earth observations, weather, etc)
 
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MeteorWayne

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josh said <i> since </i> STS was designed. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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juliemac

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I think he was right. We do need a space station and work from there rather than lift out of the gravity well every time we want to move to space. A horrible waste of energy and materials.<br />With the space station we have learned a lot about the tools and systems needed to stay alive in space for extended periods and right in our own orbital backyard.<br />You want a permanent solution then Von Braun's concept is the most logical of the ideas.<br /><br />But.. Back on topic, if the man had disagreed with his orders, he would have been sent to a camp, possibly never walking out.I don't see him as a NAZI, just as a man making the best of a really bad situation.<br /><br />I just wish, the Govt had let him do as he needed (195x) and we would have beaten the Russians to orbit and beyond.
 
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josh_simonson

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Apollo was done for political reasons, but the approach was chosen on technical merit. Now the program exists less for political reasons (more science/research based), but the means to accomplish it is chosen on political merit instead of technical merit.
 
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delta26

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If the V2 program had never gotten started, the money and resources it took up would have been used to either:<br /><br />a. Build more weapons (tanks, airplanes, etc.)<br /><br />b. Construct another crazy superweapon (atomic bomb?)<br /><br />I think the fact that the V2 was utterly useless as a practical weapon reflects well on Von Braun considering soime of the alternatives. This is not to say Von Braun is totally excused, but he may have unknowingly prevented more death and destruction than he caused.
 
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robotical

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Ah sorry, didn't understand the post the first time. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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Boris_Badenov

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<font color="yellow"> Von Braun thought a manned presence was needed where most of the tasks are by unmanned spacecraft </font><br /><br /> Unmanned probes cannot found a colony. If we do not spread out to other planets, then other stars Mankind will eventually perish. <br /> Choice A or chioce B, there are absolutly no others. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#993300"><span class="body"><font size="2" color="#3366ff"><div align="center">. </div><div align="center">Never roll in the mud with a pig. You'll both get dirty & the pig likes it.</div></font></span></font> </div>
 
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jimfromnsf

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"Unmanned probes cannot found a colony. If we do not spread out to other planets, then other stars Mankind will eventually perish."<br /><br />has nothing to do with that. Von Braun thought that comsats would need a manned switching station, weather sats would have man observers, etc. That was he big reason for manned stations, he didn't think they could be automated
 
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MeteorWayne

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With the technology available and known at that time, that was not an unreasonable position to take. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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jimfromnsf

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But it put a mindset into NASA that a spacestation is mandatory
 
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steve82

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delta26 raises a good point about the money being spent on other weapons. If the V2 program had been abandoned, the vast resources required to support it would have gone into other weapons, the huge amounts of the German potato crop that were used to make alcohol for V2 fuel would instead have gotten into the food supply, and the war might have lasted a while longer.
 
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qso1

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The idea of a space station was around long before Von Braun proposed one as part of an infrastructure. VB saw the need for a manned infrastructure and wanted to conquer the planets and move eventually to the stars. <br /><br />In the 1950s, this seemed doable in part because no serious thought had been given to budget realities. Space station concepts date back to one of the originals which was proposed in 1857 IIRC and called a brick moon because it was to have been built of brick. In addition to that, IIRC Hermann Oberth proposed a station in 1923. And as has been mentioned here, unmanned spacecraft were not thought capable of doing what they now do or even did in the 1960s and 70s. Even the DOD was looking to have manned space stations until they realized they could do what needed to be done with the unmanned KH satellite series. <br /><br />Space stations have almost always been part of infrastructural proposals and were also considered as a less expensive alternative to Apollo but Apollo had more PR value as a highly visible part of the space race.<br /><br />ckikilwai:<br />(I actually started this thread because I was frustrated that von braun and his V2's were only mentioned once in the history lessons, but during our lessons about the cold war, we just skipped the whole space race)<br /><br />Me:<br />I'm more inclined to believe the space race and program in general are not taught beyond brief mentions because there is such a lacking public interest. Human spaceflight especially as it is percieved to be a waste of money in many peoples minds. There was a letter just last week in USA Today. Someone complained about well healed private citizens wasting money on upcoming suborbital spaceflights. Its bad enough when people propose cutting HSF which is tax funded. But what private citizens and companies do with their money is their business. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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jimfromnsf

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"And as has been mentioned here, unmanned spacecraft were not thought capable of doing what they now do or even did in the 1960s and 70s. Even the DOD was looking to have manned space stations until they realized they could do what needed to be done with the unmanned KH satellite series."<br /><br />Unlike the DOD, NASA never got it out of their thinking.
 
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rocketman5000

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Manned and unmanned missions should always be a part of NASA's repetoire. NASA's mission wasn't and shouldn't be as a data collector for private scientists. It was started to further technical prowess in aeronautics that includes inside and outside the atmosphere. manned and unmanned. It is pointless and doing a disservice to the whole space advocacy group to argue for all manned or unmanned missions. Everyone needs to unite behind the common spaceflight banner and just get work done.
 
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bdewoody

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Unfortunately a lot gets left out of the high school history and geography curriculums. They are more concerned with getting enough students to pass an arbitrary proficiency test than teaching interesting subject matter. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <em><font size="2">Bob DeWoody</font></em> </div>
 
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spacefire

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I always liked looking at the big picture and I challenge everyone to answer this question:<br /><br />Do you think developing rocketry as a means for the human species to extend to the stars and thus escape certain extinction was worth the Holocaust?<br />I ask you to think about it....would YOU allow 50 million people to be slaughtered if the technology developed during this conflict safeguarded the future of the entire species? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>http://asteroid-invasion.blogspot.com</p><p>http://www.solvengineer.com/asteroid-invasion.html </p><p> </p> </div>
 
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