Portrait of 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 his book, "A Rocket to Interplanetary Space", proved that they could be used to launch objects into space. He originated the idea of stages, which explained that once a rocket's fuel is expended 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 V2 rockets used to attack London in the second World War. He was also a mentor of Wernher von Braun, who continued Oberth's study of rocketry.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, as well as books
on science education!
You might also be interested in:
How did life evolve on Earth? The answer to this question can help us understand our past and prepare for our future. Although evolution provides credible and reliable answers, polls show that many people turn away from science, seeking other explanations with which they are more comfortable....more
For as long as there have been people on Earth, we have looked up at the sky and wondered about the Sun, Moon, stars, and occasional dramatic events we saw there. But it is only in the past 40 years that...more
Wernher von Braun was a German engineer who lived between 1912-1977. He is considered the father of the space age for his work in rocketry. During the 1930's and 40's, Von Braun directed Germany's rocket...more
Rockets create thrust by burning fuel within a confined space and expelling the exhaust gases through a small opening, pushing the rocket in the other direction. They are able to generate the high speeds...more
Richard Feynman was an American physicist who lived between 1918-1988. He was one of the most influential theoretical physicists of the twentieth century, contributing to many areas of physics including...more
Stephen Jay Gould was an American paleontologist and evolutionary biologist who was born in 1941. He revised Darwin's theory of evolution, introducing his own concept of punctuated equilibrium. This states...more
Evelyn Granville is an American mathematician who was born in 1924. She was one of the first black women in the United States to receive a Ph.D. in mathematics. She has made many contributions to NASA's...more
Stephen Hawking is an English astrophysicist who was born in 1942. He is a leader in the fields of theoretical physics and cosmology (the origins of the universe). Hawking is famous for his studies of...more