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Student reports - 2012

The German Rocket Team

Moonbuggy Team Italy, Highschool 2012
Daniele Cini, Marco De Lorenzi, Simon Galletti. Giacomo Labbri, Laura Martin
International Space Education Institute

Huntsville, 06. 04.2012
img1In the morning at 9.25 we left for the moonbuggy garage, where Ralf showed us the videos we made yesterday. Then we went to Huntsville’s Maple Hill Cemetery ( very different from the Italian ones, very big and organized in a way that makes it possible to cross it freely even by car ), where a lot of scientists and engineers that contributed to the construction of rockets and shuttles during the Cold War rest. Ralf showed us the grave of Ernst Stuhlinger, who emigrated to Huntsville with the team of Wehrner von Braun, and told us the story of his last days…
img2Stuhlinger, although formally enemy of Russian engineers, when he was in Moscow, wanted to homage to grave of a great scientist such as korolev, Sputnik designer: even so, when he arrived to the cemetery, it was impossible for him to find flowers; years later, when ill for old age, Korolev’s daughter came to visit him by his bed in Huntsville, to whom Stuhlinger gave thirty dollars to do what he couldn’t when in Russia: she was able to complete the task and, a while later, after receiving a photograph of the grave righteously honored, Dr. Stuhlinger died.
img3Another anecdote on a famous designer, Konrad Dannenberg: during the Second World War, his brigade had to be transferred from the French front to the Russian; von Braun, knowing of the danger of confrontation with the Russian army and needing missile engineers, ordered the capture of the passengers of troop trains and that these were brought back if competent on the matter; in his group Dannenberg was the only one who had any kind of experience with small propulsion rocket models: he was brought back to base, and that’s how he survived from the massacre the other soldiers were condemned to when arrived in Russia.  

Later on we went up Mont Sano with our van, a hill that Mr. and Mrs. Stuhlinger chose as their home. So we arrived at the top and met Mrs. Stuhlinger on her front porch, and she invited us inside so we could have the opportunity to see where the famous engineer lived. After a pleasant chat and some photos, we said goodbye, and started to go back to the garage.

On our way back, we stopped at “EducationTelevision”, a TV studio in Huntsville that works prevalently for kids and schools, and that in his 5 channels shows educational programs, school news and local news. Here, guided by a technician and a journalist, we had the opportunity to see the filming studio, the editing studio and the sounds studio.
Then, like every other day, we went back to the hall to continue our moonbuggy construction. Today, in particular, we fixed the chains and the suspensions; meanwhile Cini went to the local bicycle shop, to buy some missing pieces, like new multiple-gear-chains and a handle pipe.