Doctor Wernher von Braun, whom was a former Nazi V-1 and V-2 rocket scientist who was brought to the United States via the Central Intelligence Agency’s classified Operation Paperclip program, was made the Director of a team of 5,500 employees working on the Saturn V Rocket and other NASA projects. The Deputy Director for Research and Development and the Deputy Director of Administration reported directly to former George C. Marshall Flight Center Director Wernher von Braun.
In August of 1958, U.S. Senator John Glenn Beall, Junior announced that the federal government would establish a “Space Projects Center” in Greenbelt, Maryland. The center site was part of the Department of Agriculture’s Beltsville Agricultural Research Center.
Months later, after the passage of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, the Naval Research Laboratory’s Project Vanguard was legally transferred to the “Beltsville Space Center,” though it remained at the Naval Research Laboratory facilities until the completion of the new center.
In May of 1959, NASA formally announced that the new facility would be called Goddard Space Flight Center, after Dr. Robert Hutchings Goddard. Robert Goddard, whom is widely considered the father of modern rocketry, theorized that rockets would work in a vacuum, and thus could potentially be used to send payloads into space. On March 16, 1961, the 35th anniversary of Goddard’s first liquid-propellant rocket launch Goddard Space Flight Center was officially dedicated.
In 1942, John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory was established to help create the proximity fuze, known as the VT Fuze, that was instrumental in improving American site defenses during World War II. Since the era of the space race, the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory has worked with NASA to develop deep space research and other space technologies.
My daughter Krystal Marie Hamilton’s grandmother Charlene Roelecke and Richard G. Shelton both work for the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory campus in Laurel, Maryland. There is an addition Applied Physics Labratory in Silver Spring, Maryland.
The musuem exhibits aircraft from the age of air pioneers as well as those used in multiple wars, capsules from the Mercury and the Apollo missions during the space race, and fragments of meteorites form space.
Various posters showed that during World War I there was a great emphasis placed on the manufacture of airplanes for the war effort.
One section of the museum has an original model of the first jet aircraft in the world that was built in Nazi Germany during World War II. Nazi Germany had planned on mass producing the jet aircraft in the mid 1940s, but lost the war and was unable to manufacture jets under the treaty signed with the allied forces in 1945. Therefore, the United States and the Soviet Union were the first to mass produce jet aircraft during the Cold War.