DAY 1 - Robert Goddard: American, Robert H. Goddard, often called "the father of modern rocketry." In 1914, Goddard received two U.S. patents- one was for a rocket using liquid fuel; the second was for a two or three stage rocket using solid fuel.
On March 16,1926, Goddard successfully tested the world's first rocket powered by liquid fuel, a feat as important in aviation history as that of the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk.
After the Nazis surrendered in May 1945, Goddard was able to inspect captured German V-2s, many components of which he recognized as his own inventions. When German rocket experts brought to America after the war were questioned about their V-1 and V-2 weapons, many were amazed and asked why American officials did not inquire of Goddard, from whom they had learned virtually all they knew prior to the war. In 1963, Werhner von Braun said of Goddard: "His rockets ... may have been rather crude by present-day standards, but they blazed the trail and incorporated many features used in our most modern rockets and space vehicles."
The Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, established in 1959, is named in his honor. Goddard Crater on the Moon is also named for him, as is asteroid 9252 Goddard. The dedicated labors of this early rocket scientist went largely unrecognized in the United States until the dawn of the "space age."
DAY 2 - Wernher von Braun: Jules Verne's (remember him?) science fiction inspired Wernher von Braun when he was young. Years later, von Braun designed the famous World War II V-2 rocket for his native Germany, but he also dreamed of developing vehicles that would propel artificial satellites and men into outer space. In fact, his interest in developing rockets for space exploration, rather than for war, angered the Nazis and led to two weeks in a German prison. As World War II ended, von Braun and other German rocket experts surrendered to Allied forces and eventually emigrated from Germany to work for the U.S. Army. On January 31, 1958, the von Braun team used a modified Jupiter C rocket to launch Explorer 1, America's first orbiting satellite. Two years later, von Braun became director of NASA's new George C. Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville where he and an expanded team would develop the Saturn rockets that launched men to the moon in 1969. Believe it or not, von Braun came to Weiner to duck hun
Dr. Werhner von Braun was visited by Walt Disney in 1954. In the 1950's, von Braun worked with Disney Studio as a technical director, making three films about space exploration for television. A model of the V-2 rocket is in background of the above photo. Disney opened Disneyland the same year that von Braun worked as a technical director on three Disney TV programs about space. The first, "Man in Space,'' aired on ABC in1955. The second, "Man and the Moon,'' aired the same year, and the final film, ``Mars and Beyond,'' was televised on Dec. 4, 1957. It is amazing when you watch the clip below just how close von Braun's predictions were!