The Joachim Kuettner Symposium
Eighth Presidential History Symposium


Joachim Kuettner and the Beginning of the U.S. Manned Space Program: from Mercury to Apollo

Renate Brummer, CIRA/Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO

In October 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was founded with civilian research related to space flight and aeronautics as its primary mission. In the same year, Wernher von Braun, the German rocket pioneer, invited Joachim Kuettner to join him in Huntsville, Alabama, to develop and direct the United States' manned spaceflight program.

Kuettner and his team of engineers immediately began to work on a rocket and space capsule system, which eventually became the Mercury project and culminated in the successful launch of Mercury-Redstone 3 from Cape Canaveral carrying Alan Shepard into a sub-orbital flight path on 5 May 1961. Soon afterwards, President Kennedy agreed to support flying a human to the moon, Congress accepted it, and the Apollo program was born.

This presentation will summarize Joachim Kuettner's contribution to the U.S. manned space program, from the first sub-orbital Mercury flights to the Apollo moon program.

Recorded presentation

Joint Session 4, Man in Space
Tuesday, 19 January 2010, 2:30 PM-3:00 PM, B203

Browse or search entire meeting

AMS Home Page