Oberth, Hermann

▪ German scientist

born June 25, 1894, Nagyszeben, Austria-Hungary [now Sibiu, Rom.]
died Dec. 29, 1989, Nürnberg, W.Ger.

      German scientist who is considered to be one of the founders of modern astronautics.

      The son of a prosperous physician, Oberth studied medicine in Munich, but his education was interrupted by service in the Austro-Hungarian army during World War I. After being wounded in the war, he found time to pursue his studies in astronautics. He performed experiments to simulate weightlessness and worked out a design for a long-range, liquid-propellant rocket that his commanding officer sent to the War Ministry. The design was rejected as a fantasy. After the war Oberth sought a Ph.D. degree at the University of Heidelberg with a dissertation based on his rocket design. It was rejected by the university in 1922, but Oberth partially underwrote publishing expenses, and it appeared as Die Rakete zu den Planetenräumen (1923; “The Rocket into Interplanetary Space”). The book, which explained mathematically how rockets could achieve a speed that would allow them to escape Earth's gravitational pull, gained Oberth widespread recognition.

      Until 1922 he was unfamiliar with the work of Robert Goddard in the United States and, until 1925, with that of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky in the Soviet Union. After corresponding with both men, he acknowledged their precedence in deriving the equations associated with space flight. Oberth's Wege zur Raumschiffahrt (1929; Ways to Spaceflight) won the first annual Robert Esnault-Pelterie–André Hirsch Prize of 10,000 francs, enabling him to finance his research on liquid-propellant rocket motors. The book anticipated by 30 years the development of electric propulsion and of the ion rocket. In 1931 Oberth received a patent for a liquid-propellant rocket from the Romanian Patent Office, and the first rocket was launched on May 7, 1931, near Berlin.

      In 1938 Oberth joined the faculty of the Technical University of Vienna. He became a German citizen in 1940 and in 1941 transferred to the German rocket development centre at Peenemünde, where he worked for Wernher von Braun, his former assistant.

      In 1943 he was sent to another location to work on solid-propellant antiaircraft rockets. He spent a year in Switzerland after the war as a rocket consultant, and in 1950 he moved to Italy, where he worked on solid-propellant antiaircraft rockets for the Italian navy. In the United States from 1955, he did advanced space research for the army until he retired to West Germany in 1958.

      Residing permanently in the town of Feucht, near Nürnberg, from 1962, Oberth spent his retirement engaged in theoretical studies. In 1959 he published Stoff und Leben (“Material and Life”). Oberth posited in this work that materialism, the philosophy on which communism is based, is incorrect and further that aspects of human life such as the soul could not be explained by material reason.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Oberth, Hermann Julius — SUBJECT AREA: Aerospace [br] b. 25 June 1894 Nagyszeben, Transylvania (now Sibiu, Romania) d. 29 December 1989 Nuremberg, Germany [br] Austro Hungarian lecturer who is usually regarded, with Robert Goddard, as one of the fathers of modern… …   Biographical history of technology

  • Hermann Oberth — mit dem Bundesverdienstkreuz, 1961 Hermann Julius Oberth (* 25. Juni 1894 in Hermannstadt, Siebenbürgen, Österreich Ungarn; † 28. Dezember 1989 in Nürnberg) war ein siebenbürgischer Physiker und Raketenpionier …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Hermann Julius Oberth — Hermann Oberth Nacimiento 25 de junio de 1894 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Hermann Oberth — (né le 25 juin 1894 à Hermannstadt (actuellement Sibiu) en Transylvanie, Roumanie, où son père était médecin mort le 28 décembre 1989 à Nuremberg …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Oberth — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Adolf Oberth (1928–2007), siebenbürgischer Chemiker und Erfinder, Sohn von Hermann Oberth Erna Roth Oberth (* 1922), siebenbürgisch deutsche Juristin, Tochter von Hermann Oberth Hermann Oberth (1894–1989) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Oberth — Oberth,   Hermann, Physiker und Raumfahrtpionier österreichisch ungarischer Herkunft, * Hermannstadt 25. 6. 1894, ✝ Nürnberg 28. 12. 1989; Professor in Wien und Dresden, ab 1941 an der Heeresversuchsanstalt in Peenemünde tätig, später zeitweise… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Hermann Oberth — Infobox Scientist name = Hermann Oberth box width = image width =150px caption =Oberth (in front) with fellow ABMA employees. Left to right: Dr. Ernst Stuhlinger, Major General Holger Toftoy, Oberth, Dr. Wernher von Braun, and Dr. Robert Lusser… …   Wikipedia

  • Hermann-Oberth-Museum — Das Hermann Oberth Raumfahrt Museum ist ein Museum für Raumfahrttechnik in dem fränkischen Markt Feucht. Es erinnert an das Lebenswerk des berühmten Raketenpioniers Hermann Oberth. Als besondere Ausstellungsstücke verfügt es über eine Rakete des… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Oberth-Effekt — Als Raketentreibstoff werden die Antriebsstoffe einer Rakete, genauer eines Raketenmotors, bezeichnet. Durch ihn entsteht der Schub einer Rakete. Wichtige Eigenschaften sind neben dem Preis auch seine Dichte, Lagerfähigkeit (Zersetzung),… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • OBERTH (H.) — Hermann OBERTH 1894 1989 Avec le Russe Konstantin Edouardovitch Tsiolkovski, l’Américain Robert Hutchings Goddard et le Francais Robert Esnault Pelterie, Hermann Oberth est l’un des quatre grands pionniers de l’astronautique. Les idées qu’il émit …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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