FACE 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."
FACE 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!
FACE 3 - John Glenn: John Glenn is a former NASA astronaut. He was part of the first group of astronauts NASA picked. He is the first American to orbit Earth. He also became a U.S. senator. Later, he became the oldest person to fly in space. n 1962, John Glenn became the first American to orbit Earth. He named his spacecraft "Friendship 7." He made three orbits around Earth. He spent about five hours in space. His mission showed that the Mercury spacecraft worked in space. The mission also helped NASA learn more about being in space.
What Did John Glenn Do After He Left NASA? After John Glenn left NASA, he became a U.S. senator from the state of Ohio. He was a senator for 25 years. Now Glenn works with college students at Ohio State University in Columbus.
What Happened on John Glenn's Second Spaceflight? In 1998, John Glenn got to fly to space again. He flew with six other astronauts on the space shuttle. It had been 36 years since his first spaceflight. The new flight would help NASA learn what being in space does to older people. Because NASA knew so much about him, Glenn was perfect for the job. He was 77 years old when he flew on the shuttle. He was the oldest person to fly in space.
FACE 4 - Neil Armstrong: Neil's love for flying started at a young age when his father took him to an air show. From then on his goal was to become a pilot. At the age of 15, he got his pilot's license. Armstrong went to Purdue University and earned his bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering. During college, Neil was called up by the Navy and became a fighter pilot. He fought in the Korean War where he flew fighters from aircraft carriers. After graduating from college, Armstrong became a test pilot. He flew all sorts of experimental planes testing them out to see how well they flew. It was a dangerous job, but very exciting. He flew over 200 different types of aircraft during his career.
Armstrong applied to become an astronaut and in September of 1962 he was selected for the NASA Astronaut Corps. He had to go through a series of harsh physical tests, but he passed.
On December 23, 1968 Neil was offered the command of the Apollo 11. This would be the first manned landing on the Moon. This was an exciting time for the entire country. The United States was in a race with the Soviet Union to put the first man on the Moon. After months of practice and preparation, the Apollo 11 spacecraft launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on July 16, 1969. There was one scary moment in the flight where Armstrong had to take over manual control of the landing. This was not the plan and, if the landing took too long, would leave the crew short on fuel. The landing was successful and they had around 40 seconds of fuel remaining. Upon landing Armstrong said "Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed."
After landing, Armstrong was the first to leave the craft and walk on the Moon. The historic date was July 21, 1969. His famous words upon being the first man on the Moon were "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind". Buzz Aldrin also walked on the Moon during this trip. They collected Moon rocks and were on the Moon for over 21 hours. While the lunar module, named the Eagle, was on the Moon, the third astronaut, Michael Collins, orbited the Moon in the command module.
The three pilots arrived back on Earth on July 24th. They landed in the Pacific Ocean and returned heroes.
Creativity Quote: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." (Neil Armstrong)
FACE 5 - Dr. Jim Green: There would be no such thing as astronauts if there weren't brilliant, determined scientists who figure out how to do it all. Dr. Green received his Ph.D. in Space Physics from the University of Iowa in 1979 and began working in the Magnetospheric Physics Branch at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in 1980. At Marshall, Dr. Green developed and managed the Space Physics Analysis Network that provided scientists all over the world with rapid access to data, to other scientists, and to specific NASA computer and information resources. In August 2006, Dr. Green became the Director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters. Over his career, Dr. Green has received numerous awards. In 1988, he received the Arthur S. Flemming award given for outstanding individual performance in the federal government and was awarded Japan's Kotani Prize in 1996 in recognition of his international science data management activities.
Creativity Quote: "the best thing to do with data that comes into our archive is to provide it online and provide it in a way where the information about the data is available for scientists to make decisions about using it or not using it." (Dr. Jim Green)