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From the Earth to the Moon
Norbert is Dr. Wernher von Braun in this 1998 miniseries that was partially written by Tom Hanks, who was also the host and Executive Producer. Norbert appears as Dr. von Braun in two episodes.
Norbert’s character of Dr. von Braun first appears in an episode that takes place in 1958 when he was a member of the Special Committee on Space Technology, and also the director, Development Operations Division, Army Ballistic Missile Agency, as part of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), the predecessor of NASA.
In this scene Dr. von Braun is briefing the NACA on the specific type of rocket that will take men to the moon, and the trajectory needed to achieve the proper velocity to reach their goal. Dr. von Braun became the Director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and the Chief architect of the Saturn V launch vehicle, the superbooster that took Americans to the moon.
Dr. von Braun left NASA after a difference of opinion and goals -- he could not understand why NASA lost interest in lunar missions after the Apollo Space Programs, and wanted to continue with emphasis on putting men on the moon. Dr. von Braun went to work for the aeronautics giant, Fairchild Industries, in 1972. Sadly, he died of cancer in 1977 at the age of 65.
Even though he was considered one of the pioneers of rocket development and leaders in that field, his vital contributions, influence and involvement are almost overlooked in this series. Therefore, Norbert's excellent portrayal of Dr. von Braun is limited to a couple segments relatively early in the series. Dr. von Braun was an incredibly intelligent and distinguished man who contributed a great deal to the aerospace industry. Norbert's portrayal of him just him justice on every level.
Additional reading on Dr. von Braun's life and accomplishments can be found here:
This page is dedicated to the memory of G. David Low, NASA Astronaut and Engineer, and whose father, George Low, worked with Dr. von Braun at NASA. David, you were taken from us too soon. Thanks for the friendship, and your valuable contributions to science and space flight.                                          May you find peace among the stars.
© norbert-weisser.com 2017  All rights reserved. All material used with permission. Please do not copy or distribute without written permission.