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  Rocket pioneer Ernst Stuhlinger (1913-2008)

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Author Topic:   Rocket pioneer Ernst Stuhlinger (1913-2008)
Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-25-2008 02:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dr. Ernst Stuhlinger, 94, passed away Sunday. A member of Dr. Wernher von Braun's rocket team since 1943, he was one of 126 scientists who came to the U.S. as part of Operation Paperclip. In 1955, he became a naturalized citizen.

In the 1950s Stuhlinger worked at the Redstone Arsenal, where he developed designs for solar-powered spacecraft. The most popular of those designs relied on ion stream vapor emitted by either caesium or rubidium atoms to be accelerated by negatively charged electrodes which would push the ion stream through a propulsion channel. The mechanism would be powered by the one kilowatt of radiant energy that falls on each square meter of space from the sun. He referred to it as a "sunship."

Stuhlinger was director of the space science lab at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, from 1960 to 1968, and then its associate director for science from 1968 to 1975, when he retired and became an adjunct professor and senior research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Wikipedia

In the above photo, taken at the Walt Disney Studios in California, Dr. Wernher von Braun (right) and Dr. Ernst Stuhlinger (left) are shown discussing the concepts of nuclear-electric spaceships designed to undertake the mission to the planet Mars.

A moment of silence can be signified by an entry with no words and only a period.

lewarren
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posted 05-25-2008 03:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lewarren   Click Here to Email lewarren     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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Moonmichael
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posted 05-25-2008 03:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moonmichael   Click Here to Email Moonmichael     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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E2M Lem Man
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posted 05-25-2008 03:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is with great sadness that I have learned of his passing.

Only three years ago as I was passing thru Huntsville, Dr. Stuhlinger asked ME to come to his home and meet with him. He was quite cordial, and he and I were only to speak for 15 minutes, but we spent an hour discussing history and Dr. von Braun.

Dr. Stuhlinger kept abreast of the latest space news -- and of Deep Space-1, the first ion powered deep-space probe. He felt like a father to that design.

No matter how you may feel about his past -- we have lost one of the great spacecraft designers.

God Bless Ernst Stuhlinger and his family.

J.M. Busby

randy
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posted 05-25-2008 04:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for randy   Click Here to Email randy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
. from a fellow German.

Randy

NavySpaceFan
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posted 05-25-2008 05:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for NavySpaceFan   Click Here to Email NavySpaceFan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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cosmos-walter
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posted 05-25-2008 05:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cosmos-walter   Click Here to Email cosmos-walter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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cddfspace
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posted 05-25-2008 06:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cddfspace   Click Here to Email cddfspace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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Delta7
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sikotic19
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posted 05-25-2008 08:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sikotic19   Click Here to Email sikotic19     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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Joe Frasketi
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Jay Gallentine
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posted 05-25-2008 10:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Gallentine   Click Here to Email Jay Gallentine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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cspg
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posted 05-25-2008 11:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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Rick Mulheirn
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posted 05-26-2008 04:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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SPACEFACTS
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Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-26-2008 11:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Huntsville Times: Ernst Stuhlinger dies, was space age 'giant'
Stuhlinger was the No. 3 man on Dr. Wernher von Braun's famed rocket team, said Ed Buckbee, a former director of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and also a public affairs officer for von Braun.

"He was behind von Braun and Eberhard Rees," Buckbee said. "He was the chief scientist and was also considered to be the ambassador of science for the team. It was a unique title von Braun gave him. He was the bridge between the scientific community and the von Braun team.

"We've lost a giant scientist."

Moonwalker1954
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posted 05-26-2008 11:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moonwalker1954   Click Here to Email Moonwalker1954     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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Philip
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posted 05-26-2008 11:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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contra
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Henk Boshuijer
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ejectr
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sts205cdr
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Swiss_space
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posted 05-26-2008 04:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Swiss_space   Click Here to Email Swiss_space     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dr Stuhlinger was a renowned and world-respected scientist. It was with a great sadness that I learned of his passing.

I feel honoured for having been able to correspond with him regularly over the past few years.

We have lost a giant scientist, and whatever the past, he does have a place in history, as one of the world's first Rocket Pioneers.

My deepest condolences to the Stuhlinger family.

Yvan

ColinBurgess
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posted 05-26-2008 04:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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dom
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dss65
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posted 05-26-2008 06:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dss65   Click Here to Email dss65     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-27-2008 10:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Huntsville Times: Stuhlinger envisioned Mars path
In a touch of celestial irony, Ernst Stuhlinger, who proposed a way to fly to Mars more than 40 years ago, died on the day NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander arrived on the Red Planet.

The late rocket scientist, who was Wernher von Braun's science adviser, had conceived an ion propulsion-based spacecraft for missions to Mars, said noted author Homer Hickam.

"He and von Braun didn't believe the chemical rockets would be able to reach Mars," he said. "He proposed ion propulsion back in the 1960s.

"If that had been implemented, we'd be walking around on Mars today."

kr4mula
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posted 05-27-2008 11:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For those of us who have studied the history electric propulsion systems, Dr. Stuhlinger was one of the true pioneers in this area, both technically and as a visible advocate. While the electric propulsion community is small, he was one of the largest figures in its early pantheon.

Godspeed.

Kevin

p.s. you can find a link to his oral histories here.

Lunar rock nut
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Jurg Bolli
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posted 05-27-2008 01:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jurg Bolli   Click Here to Email Jurg Bolli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My condolences.
Jurg

E2M Lem Man
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posted 05-27-2008 01:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rob Godwin of Apogee Books has suggested naming the Phoenix lander station Stulinger station and sent me this link of Apogee's tribute to him which I wanted to share.

Let's name it for him, shall we cS'rs? Write NASA and your representatives.

J.M. Busby

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-27-2008 01:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by E2M Lem Man:
Let's name it for him, shall we collectSPACE'rs? Write NASA and your representatives.
I understand the desire to honor Dr. Stuhlinger and I appreciate his connection to Mars, but this particular idea seems to be driven more by current events than by planning.

Stuhlinger's contributions might be better honored by naming an ion propulsion drive (or ion-driven spacecraft) rather than the latest landing site.

Perhaps a more appropriate landing site honoree would be Peter Staudhammer, who passed away in January and whose work led to Viking's biology instrument package, a predecessor to the experiments on Phoenix.

spaceman1953
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posted 05-27-2008 03:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman1953   Click Here to Email spaceman1953     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
.

And thank you for all you did in getting my county to the Moon.

Gene

NASAVideographer
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posted 05-27-2008 08:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for NASAVideographer   Click Here to Email NASAVideographer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A few years ago, we at Marshall TV brought Mr. Stuhlinger into our studio and spoke with him on camera for at least 2 hours. We shot it on HD for future use and wow, was he fascinating! Such memories and accomplishments. My favorite was his story about how he had Hans Geiger (as in the Geiger counter) as a teacher in school. He will be sorely missed here in Huntsville and around the world.

By the way, we also interviewed Konrad Dannenberg, Hans Fichtner and Walter Hausermann in our studio a few years ago.. all equally interesting.

James Bilbrey
http://nasavideographer.blogspot.com/

machbusterman
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posted 05-28-2008 02:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for machbusterman   Click Here to Email machbusterman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was saddened to learn of Dr. Stuhlinger's passing. A truly brilliant mind and very helpful to collectors.

Respectfully,

Derek

Jay Chladek
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posted 05-29-2008 12:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ironic also that PBS ran the Nova episode "Sputnik: Declassified" as it covered efforts at the Redstone arsenal to get Explorer 1 to fly. Stuhlinger was one of people interviewed for it and he provided some excellent insights into what went on back then. Indeed he will be missed as although I never met him personally, I have friends who have and they all had really nice things to say about the man.

.

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