In this course, we’ll trace the evolution of the rocket, from rudimentary battlefield weapon to essential vehicle in the exploration of space.
Beginning with Germany’s effort to avoid the restrictions of the Treaty of Versailles by developing rockets, you will learn how Wernher von Braun led the German effort during WWII. The course will then follow several parallel paths, including simultaneous rocket development in the US and in the Soviet Union, home of another rocket engineering genius, Sergei Korolev.
The end of WWII saw both the US and Soviet Union in a rush to acquire as much rocket technology as possible. You’ll learn how the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union drove this development and the roles both von Braun and Korolev played in the creation of these advanced rockets.
The course then traces how von Braun and Korolev led the transformation from rockets of war to rockets for space exploration. Von Braun’s and Korolev’s contributions created the space age.
You will learn how Korolev’s R-7, the world’s first intercontinental ballistic missile became the launch vehicle for the world’s first artificial satellite, Sputnik. And you will learn how in the US, now working with Von Braun, used the Redstone ballistic missile to launch their first satellite, called Explorer.
The course culminates with the formation of NASA and America’s official entry it what would soon be called the “Space Race” between the US and the Soviet Union.