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Portrait of Hermann Oberth
NASA

Hermann Oberth

Hermann Oberth, born in Transylvania, Romania, was a physicist who lived between 1894-1989. He became convinced that space travel was possible at an early age, inspired by a Jules Verne science fiction novel.

Oberth studied rockets and wrote books on how they could be used to launch objects into space. He originated the idea of stages, which explained that once a rocket's fuel is used up it should be dropped as dead weight, so as not to slow down the spaceship.

Oberth's work led to the German rocket program which developed the rockets used to attack London in the second World War.


Last modified March 10, 2003 by Lisa Gardiner.

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