RR Auction Home
Current Auction Is Open For Bidding
Bidding Closes Thursday January 23
Home |Sitemap|Contact Us| Past Auctions  
 How to Bid   Register to Bid   Auctions   Consign   About Us 
Bidder Login

New Bidder Registration
Forgot your password?

The Current Auction
Ends January 23rd
Search
Advanced Search
By Item Number
Gallery Search
Past Auction Search
Bidding
How Do I Bid?
What is BidTracker™?
New Bidder Registration
The 30-Minute Rule
Terms and Conditions
New to RR Auction?
About Us
Testimonials
Register to Bid
Jobs at RR Auction
Press Releases
Consign to RR Auction
How to Consign
2019-2020 Auction Calendar
Jan 8
Jan 16
Jan 23
Feb 5
Feb 13
Feb 22
Mar 4
Mar 12
Mar 19
Apr 8
Apr 16
May 6
May 14
May 21
Jun 10
Jun 18
Jul 8
Jul 16
Aug 5
Aug 13
Sep 9
Sep 17
Oct 7
Oct 15
Nov 4
Nov 12
Dec 2
Dec 10
  View All Dates & Deadlines

Item 6013 - Wernher von Braun Handwritten Manuscript Catalog 474 (Apr 2016)

Back To Previous Page
(we are no longer accepting bids on this item)
Minimum Bid: $1,000.00
Sold Price: $19,500.78 (includes buyer's premium)

Description


Von Braun’s handwritten notes in pencil on the requirements for a spacecraft destined for Mars, unsigned, six pages on four sheets, no date. The first page concerns the “Payload net third, returnable stage,” and itemizes the payload for “10 people, incl. 2 crew,” listing the weights of spacecraft parts such as “Hull,” “Wing,” “Flywheel,” “Guidance & power supply,” and “Fins & rudders.” Estimating these at a total of 8.4 tons, he adds “1.6 tons return fuel” for a total of ten. He goes on to make several calculations and estimates for cargo, including “Weight of satellite.” On the third page, von Braun makes estimates for the differences between the initial and final weights of the first, second, and third stages of his proposed design. The fifth page is headed “3rd stage,” and determines the wing size necessary to support the revised payload as calculated on the first page: “Old wing area was based on 27 tons landing weight. New 3rd stage has 8.5 tons landing weight.” Below, von Braun calculates the wing area required using a scale factor. Most importantly, on the last page, von Braun sketches a diagram of a spacecraft from above based on these new dimensions, labeling the segments with their measurements; included in his sketch are the ten passengers he describes. In overall very good to fine condition, with expected handling wear and a central horizontal crease. From the Doris Hunter Collection.

Von Braun was fascinated by the idea of a manned mission to Mars and made the first engineering analysis of such an excursion in 1948, first publishing his findings in 1952. The calculations offered here seem to expand upon his extremely ambitious proposal, inspired by the the Antarctic expeditions of the early 20th century. He envisioned a 70-member crew aboard a fleet of ten spacecraft, comprised of seven ‘passenger’ ships and three ‘cargo’ ships. The cargo ships would orbit the planet and dispatch groups of explorers to the Martian surface on the smaller passenger vessels. In this initial plan the third-stage return weight was estimated at 27 tons, which appears to be what von Braun hopes to downsize when making these calculations. Exceedingly rare, these handwritten notes—highlighted by the sketch of a possible spacecraft—provide tremendous insight into von Braun’s planning stages for a mission to the ‘red planet’ and are of the utmost desirability.

Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.


You must be a registered user and logged in to view Past Auction Item Images

If you do not currently have an account, click here to go to our secure registration page.

Important Information


Tips For Consignors

Auctions

For a complete list of auction beginning and ending dates, check our dates and deadlines page.