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One year ago, the NASA scientist Jesco von Puttkamer died with the age of 79. The senior employee of the US Space Agency lost the battle to a flu virus in his home in Washington DC on the 27th of December, 2012. He left his wife Ursula.


Jesco von Puttkamer will not be forgotten as an author, speaker and 1960s TV guest, in Germanz and the U.S. The complete development of Apollo, Skylab, Space Shuttle, ISS and the strategic preparation for the mars mission have created his legacy within NASA and youth interested in space exploration. The mediation between ESA and Russia is in thanks to him. The list of awards is long. Among other things, the former engineer, von Puttkamer, received the honorary doctorate and the professorship, became the distinguished German-American of the year, 2008, and an asteroid was named after him. Above all, the NASA scientist, who didn’t have any of his own children, supported one thing: motivating youth to science.

On the 4th of February, 2013, NASA arranged a commemoration in the name of the engineer, scientist and visionary. A twenty man delegation of students and businessmen from Germany was invited to an extensive excursion.

On the 22nd of September, 2013, the 80th birthday of von Puttkamer, international colleagues and friends founded the “Jesco von Puttkamer Society” and donated a plaque at his birth house in Leipzig and at his former home on Monte Sano in Huntsville, Alabama. Beginning in 2014 and following each year, the society will donate an award to young and science students. In September 2014, the first Jesco von Puttkamer Readings will be held. International scientists and colleagues of von Puttkamer will inform the young generation and interested people about the future of space flight and its use for the progress.

The society keeps the Puttkamer network alive, honors the legacy of the scientist, supports young talents for natural science and is the first contact for giving names, prizes and awards in the name of von Puttkamer.

The Jesco von Puttkamer International Team Award is endowed with USD $1000 and will be given to international committed teams on the April 12th, 2014 at the NASA Rover Challenge in the Rocket City of Huntsville. The International Space Education Institute - Leipzig, an association launched in part by von Puttkamer, will judge the award.


Today, one year after the death of Jesco von Puttkamer, international students and engineers have a meeting in their workshop Together they prepare for the NASA Rover Challenge by developing a mars rover with non-pneumatic wheels and electronically supported pedals in the home city of Wagner, Porsche & BMW. The workshops are regularly continued in Moscow, Venice, Neu-Delhi and Huntsville, AL. With their work, they bring the memory of a committed scientist to the future.

Today, the digital rollout of the first NASA Rover takes place in the name of Jesco von Puttkamer in his birth town, Leipzig.

Donation account:
Account: 209981005
Jesco von Puttkamer
Commerzbank Leipzig 86040000
International Space Education Institute

International Space Education Institute e.V. Leipzig
Jesco von Puttkamer Gesellschaft e.V. Leipzig,
Huntsville/AL, Moskau
Wurzner Str. 4, 04315 Leipzig

Text: Ralf Heckel
Translation: Nadin Rößler

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