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Issue Features
Discovery Magazine 8/1/1997

Wernher Von Braun (1912-1977)

One of the world’s top space scientists was a man by the name of Wernher von Braun. He attended the University of Berlin, and after his graduation began developing rockets for his native country of Germany. However, in 1945 he came to the United States, and ten years later in 1955, he became a U.S. citizen.

Dr. von Braun was the leading force behind America’s own space program. He and his team helped invent and produce the four-stage Jupiter rocket that launchedExplorer I, the first United States satellite. In another of his projects, the Saturn V rocket was constructed, eventually putting the first astronauts on the Moon. He directed America’s program of missile development for many years, and eventually became the Director of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). His office was in Huntsville, Alabama.

During his lifetime, Dr. von Braun received many important honors and awards. But he always gave God credit for his achievements. He believed that the evidence for God’s existence could be found all around us in nature. He also believed in the concept of creation as taught in Genesis 1; he did not believe in evolution. He once said that science and religion work so well together that they should be considered as "sisters." The more he studied the heavens, the more evidence he saw of the Creator.

Dr. von Braun was never ashamed of his faith in God. When he died in 1977, co-workers found in his files many letters he had written to other scientists (like the famous medical doctor, Albert Schweitzer), in which he tried to show them why they, too, should believe in God. He tried to share his faith in God with everyone around him. Today he is remembered as a "giant" in the scientific community, but he also is remembered as a "giant" for his belief in God. We should want to imitate him in this way.

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