News Column

German-born NASA Rocket Pioneer Dies at 79

Dec 28, 2012

Jesco von Puttkamer, a German-American scientist who worked in the early US rocket programme alongside Wernher von Braun and had a decades-long career in the U.S. space programme, has died at age 79, NASA said Friday.

The German-born engineer, inventor and author died of heart failure at his home near Washington, a NASA spokesman told dpa.

He began his career at NASA in 1962, working on projects from the Apollo programme to the Moon to the space shuttle and most recently on the International Space Station programme at NASA headquarters and on future projects for the agency.

"Jesco was an institution at NASA," said William Gerstenmaier, head of NASA's human spaceflight efforts.

"His time here spanned almost the entire breadth of the agency's human spaceflight programmes. He was a direct link from von Braun's efforts to get people off the ground to the International Space Station and 12 years of continuous human presence."

He also wrote more than a dozen books on space and was a technical adviser for the Star Trek movie.

Source: Copyright 2012 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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