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Wernher Magnus Maximilian Freiherr von Braun (March 23, 1912 – June 16, 1977) was a German, later American, aerospace engineer, and space architect. He was the leading figure in the development of rocket technology in Germany and the father of rocket technology and space science in the United States.

In his twenties and early thirties, von Braun worked in Nazi Germany's rocket development program. He helped design and develop the V-2 rocket at Peenemünde during World War II. Following the war, von Braun was secretly moved to the United States, along with about 1,600 other German scientists, engineers, and technicians, as part of Operation Paperclip. He worked for the United States Army on an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) program and he developed the rockets that launched the United States' first space satellite Explorer 1. His group was assimilated into NASA, where, he served as director of the newly formed Marshall Space Flight Center and as the chief architect of the Saturn V launch vehicle, the superbooster that propelled the Apollo spacecraft to the Moon. In 1975, von Braun received the National Medal of Science. He advocated for a human mission to Mars throughout his life.

SOURCE: Wikipedia