Monday, April 30, 2012

Stars Fell on Disney Fans from Alabama: Wernher von Braun


I recently read a post on mydisneymania about Walt Disney and Wernher von Braun and immediatly thought I should share as a part of my "Disney Fans From Alabama" series.

Who is Wernher von Braun???  He was a German engineer who came to America after WWII and ended up in Alabama in 1950.  He worked on the deisgn of the V-2 combat rocket, helped build rockets that carried astronauts to the moon and served as the director of Marshall Space Flight Center in north Alabama. If you live in the Huntsville, Alabama area, you are very familiar with the name "von Braun!"  In this city you will find the von Braun Civic Center, the von Braun Astronomical Society and the von Braun Center for Science & Innovation.  He also created the Research Institute at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.  
image from space.com

In hopes of gaining public interest in the future of the space program, von Braun began working with Walt Disney and the Disney Studios to provide three television films about space exploration.  Man in Space, was the first to be aired on March 9, 1955 with 42 million viewers and the second highest rated TV show in American history.  The second show was Man and the Moon and the third was Mars and Beyond.  

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