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Traces of the space travel legend in Leipzig, which would have been 87 years old today
Leipzig, September 22, 2020


Prof. Dr. Jesco von Puttkamer (born September 22, 1933 in Leipzig, died December 27, 2012 in Alexandria / Virginia) was a German-American space scientist. Today a plaque in Salomonstrasse 25 commemorates the 1st Director of the International Space Station. As a student at the TU Aachen, the prospective mechanical engineer wrote sci-fi paperbacks about travel through space as early as the late 1950s.

1962 then Wernher von Braun called him to Huntsville / Alabama for the Apollo program. "Less than 48 hours passed since this telegram and the warm-humid air of the southern states hit my head like a wet sack," he wrote later. The small town in northern Alabama became the US moon rocket city around the Marshall Spaceflight Center. The 110-meter-high Saturn V still towers over the Dixieland valley from the Space Camp today. Visitors to the Leipzig Panorama Café sit at the same height. The newly qualified engineer Jesco von Puttkamer became a recognized engineer for the next 12 years with an office on the 9th floor of the first NASA administration building. He calculated the lunar orbit and landing sites of Apollo 12 and dealt with the reusability of the 2nd stage of the moon rocket Saturn V. During this time, he advanced from science fiction to science reality and wrote the most widely read books of the Apollo program.


In 1974 von Puttkamer moved to the NASA headquarters in Washington DC and headed the department for strategic planning of manned spaceflight (Space Operation Mission Directorate, SOMD). To introduce the new space shuttles, he connected Star Trek with NASA and advised Gene Roddenberry during his first cinema-movie. The first space shuttle was actually named "Enterprise" in 1976 and was presented by the Star Trek crew in Mojave. With Lt. Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), he roamed the Oktoberfest in Munich in 1975 and thus kept building new bridges before using her to recruit the new shuttle astronauts. The space shuttles, their successes and setbacks as well as the dream of an Alpha space station determined his working life in the 80s.

Since 1990 von Puttkamer, meanwhile with an honorary doctorate, has been involved in the construction of the International Space Station ISS and was its first director until his death in December 2012. Since the turn of the millennium and the first permanent crew onboard of the ISS, von Puttkamer was primarily committed to a gradual change in official space travel through services from the private sector after the Columbia disaster. SpaceX and Blue Origin's success goes straight back to its 2005 Commercial Orbital Transportation Systems (COTS).

jvphouse_leipzigIt was precisely at this time that the professor was also involved in his old hometown Leipzig, first on the board of trustees of Mayor Tiefensee, then as a sponsor of young scientists. The founding and strategic guided the “International Space Education Institute” as nongov-association in Leipzig. Today this association cherishes his memory worldwide and named the "Jesco von Puttkamer School" after him exactly 4 years ago.


Over 300 scientists and a future indian-roots astronaut have already been initiated in Leipzig. At hundreds of units, summer camps and international competitions, the young people from over 30 countries with the Leipzig Puttkamer orientation have already successfully participated. The german team of the NASA Rover Challenge is currently still the reigning world champion. The mostly 12-18 year old young scientists are also extremely successful at the Korolev readings in Russia and at solar-contests in Germany.


Also in the new decade the doors of the Jesco von Puttkamer School are open to curious young scientists. Due to the pandemic, the association supports the technical working groups at the schools in the region if the distances and rooms are not sufficient. The campus area in Leipzig has a size of 2000 m², has a polytechnical center and hundreds of regional sponsoring companies. This is where the students designing, constructing, soldering, programming and 3D printing. The entire campus is climate-friendly and has the Children and Youth Environment Prize of the City of Leipzig.

On Saturday, September 26th, 2020 there will be an open day at 12 noon and interested parties aged 10-16 can register with their parents for technical workgroups and also try out a NASA Rover. The participants of the NASA Roverchallenge 2021 will also be selected by October 5th.
From summer 2021, 1-week hobby researcher holiday camps will be organized on the Jesco von Puttkamer Campus.

rocketgarden jasleen-josan

From autumn 2021 the Jesco von Puttkamer School is prepaering an annual International Science Festival on the fairground of Leipzig. The winners will receive advanced training courses at the US Space Camp in Huntsville, the former adopted home of Prof. von Puttkamer.

During his last lectures on the book “Project Mars” in 2012, he said: “One day private people will dig for ore on their own with self-built spaceships in the asteroid belt, if my name only circles the sun as an asteroid. But I'll be there. ”The NASA - Jet Propulsion Laboratory honored his life's work and named asteroid 266725 Vonputtkamer after him. Today, at 2.5 AU, it is twice as far from the earth as the sun and can be observed with a telescope between Mars and Venus.

Position: Asteriod 266725 Vonputtkamer
Jesco von Puttkamer Schule:

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Events - Conferences
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Europe and Asia

Where do we stand, where are we going?

Science program, festival, excursion, competition and readings:
Dates: 11/21/2019 - 01/03/2020
Countries: Germany, Bangladesh, India
Host: Jesco von Puttkamer Society
Keynote speaker: Ralf Heckel

chandigarh-posterThe 2nd part of the reading tour starts on November 21st 2019 with a pressconference and numerous business-visits at more than 100 donating companies. At december 7th the "Rovernauts" gave a prsntatiin in front of VIP-guests at the Jesco von Puttkamer School. Then thy made trainings for 2 weekends.

The bangladesh student Smhabib Abir Jr made a special workshop for the bangladesh teams. He disassembled a rover-frontaxle and made her ready for transportation by airplane.

On december 23rd the whole board of Jesco von Puttkamer Society and Family Heckel started to India. There are involved Ralf and Yvonne (Space Camp Ambassador), Cosma, Tara and Jesco. Cosma will also speak for students (as former Space Camp participant).

The program in India:
12/23/2019 Delhi (India)
12/24/2019 Akshardham Temple Lasershow, Delhi (India)
12/25/2019 Christmas Party with students at JvP-depandance, Kurukshetra (India)
12/26/2019 Brahma Sarovar, Kurukshetra (India)
12/27/2019 Youth Space Talk - ISTC, CSIR-CSIO, Chandigarh (India)
12/28/2019 Youth Space Conference - 2019, NITTTR, Chandigarh (India)
12/29/2019 PEC - College of Kalpana Chawla, Chandigarh (India)
12/30/2019 Team Moon Yaan, 3 days, Kurukshetra (India)
12/31/2019 Youth Space Talk - Panorama, Kurukshetra (India)
01/02/2020 German Embassy New Delhi (India)
01/04/2020 Leipzig/Germany

The core tasks are:
- registration for Space Camp Mission 2020 (USA)
- Youth Space Conference in Chandigarh
- Roverchallenge Moon Yaan workshop in Kurukshetra
- several space meetings with ISRO
- preaering of the Indian Space University
- cultural events

World Space Council, India
Jesco von Puttkamer Society
International Space Education Institute
local responsible:
Navdeep Vishnuvanshi

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Events - Conferences
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North- and South America
Where do we stand, where are we going?

Science program, festival, excursion, competition and readings:

Dates: 10/20/2019 - 11/21/2020
Countries: USA, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Brazil, Spain
Host: Jesco von Puttkamer Society
Keynote speaker: Ralf Heckel

20 years ago the new director of the ISS (International Space Station), Prof. Dr. Jesco von Puttkamer (NASA-HQ), and the current director of the ISEI (International Space Education Institute), Ralf Heckel (Germany, active role during the fall of the iron curtain), started an amazing project: The accessibility of Space Education and International contests for everyone on the planet.

The main goal 10 years after the cold war was: "Multi-nationality: learn, design, work and live together, create a future - like on board the International Space Station and beyond".

This goal was never lost. Both opened the doors for many international teams at national US, German and Russian space competitions. This work is financially and politically independent, non-profit and non-government. It continues to grow with more locations, more activities and into more countries worldwide.

The Space Education Readings Tour Program 2019 collects all multinational experiences from the past until the 50th year of landing on the Moon and gives a look into the future of the next decade. What Prof. Dr. von Puttkamer (Apollo, Skylab, Space Shuttle and ISS) called "anti-cyclic", will be present as a VISION for a way of life for everyone who wants to make a future between 2020 and 2030.

This reading also involves the current global development such as: Climate Change, Pollution, Populism or Fridays for Future and gives visions for a new orientation with Space as a smart and possible solution.

The Tourprogram overview 2019/20:

10/20/2019 Start in Leipzig and Berlin (Germany)
10/21/2019 70th IAC, Washington DC (USA)
10/21/2019 German American Heritage Foundation, Washington DC (USA)
10/22/2019 McKinly Highschool, Washington DC (USA)
10/23/2019 Team-UDC, University Washington DC, Washington DC (USA)
10/25/2019 NASA-HQ, Washington DC (USA)
10/25/2019 Gala Dinner at National Air & Space Mueum, Udvar Hazy, Dulls Airport
10/26/2019 First Robotic Challenge, Haymarket VA (USA)
10/27/2019 Team Tecnologico de Monterrey, 4 days, TEC-Cuernavaca (Mexico)
11/01/2019 Teotihuacan Pyramides(Mecico)
11/03/2019 ROCH-Team, UNAQ, 2 days, Queretaro (Mexico)
11/06/2019 Orlando and Cape Canaveral (USA)
11/07/2019 Team Apolo 27, INTEC, Santo Domingo (Dominican Rep)
11/09/2019 Highschool-Team, Colegio Cientifico, Salcedo (Dominican Rep)
11/10/2019 Panama City and Panama-channel (Panama)
11/11/2019 Rio de Janeiro, 9 days (Brazil)
11/13/2019 The Myths, UFF, Niteroi (Brazil)
11/14/2019 Colegio Santa Terezinha, 5 events, Sao Gonzeles (Brazil)
11/16/2019 Spacetroopers Brazil, Sao Gonzeles (Brazil)
11/18/2019 Team Saquarema, B.M.G.I, Niteroi (Brazil)
11/20/2019 High School Ramón y Caja, Madrid (Spain)
11/20/2019 Oscars Logix5 Solutions, Madrid (Spain)
11/22/2019 pressconference, Berlin (Germany)
12/05/2019 Leipzig (Germany)

12/05/2019 Leipzig (Germany)
12/20/2019 Delhi, Kurukshetra (India)
01/10/2020 Leipzig (Germany)
01/27/2020 Moscow (Russia)
03/30/2020 Colorado Springs (USA)
04/17/2020 Huntsville/Alabama (USA)
04/22/2020 Washington DC (USA), Greenbelt, Wallops Island, Hampton VA
05/09/2020 Leipzig (Germany)
06/13/2020 JvP Summerworkshop Germany
09/01/2020 JvP Internships for college students in Germany
09/25/2020 Birthday celebration for Prof. Dr. Jesco von Puttkamer
10/01/2020 Exibition in Leipzig Expocenter (one week)

Details here!


(Tourprogramm, PDF, 16 pages, 6MB)

"Go for 2020!" download this activity-calendar here, for XXL-prints:

English Version:
PDF, 100x67 cm, 20 MB:
JPG, 60x40 cm, 10 MB:

German Version:
PDF, 110x84 cm, 30MB:
JPG, 60x40 cm, 10 MB:

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Advertisement - For students
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3 Weltmeistertitel, 30 in Leipzig gebaute Fahrzeuge für die NASA Roverchallenge, 30.000 gefahrene Kilometer, Schüler aus 30 Ländern, 27 Wettkämpfe in den USA, 4 in Russland und Indien, insgesamt 33 internationale Pokale und unzählige Auszeichnungen: Das sind die Jungkonstrukteurs-Teams der Jesco von Puttkamer Schule in Leipzig. Sie sind zwischen 12 und 15 Jahre jung, amtierende Weltmeister und hatten eines ihrer Fahrzeuge bereits mit im US-Filmabenteuer "Space Warriors". Mit Beginn des neuen Jahrzehnts geben sie sich die für extraterrestischen Fahrzeugbau erfolgreichsten Nachwuchsdesigner, Testpiloten und Programmierer endlich einen Namen: die ROVERNAUTS.

Pünktlich zum Filmstart von "Ad Astra" am 19. September im Regina-Filmpalast Leipzig gehen die Tüftler in die Offensive: Bis zum 10. Oktober 2019 muss das neue Team stehen! An diesem Tag eröffnet die NASA die Registrierung zum Wettbewerb 2020. Dieser findet am 16.-18. April in der Mondraketenstadt Huntsville/Alabama statt. Es gilt ein Fahrzeug zu konstruieren, mit welchem man binnen 7 Minuten einen ca 1 km langen extraterrestischen Kurs mit 14 Hindernissen meistern und dazu noch 5 wissenschaftliche Aufgaben erledigen kann. Zu den Hindernissen zählen simulierte Lava-Rillen, Krater, weicher Sand und Eisgeysiere. Zu den Aufgaben gehören u.a. Kernbohrungen, Bodenproben und Spektralanalysen.

spacecampDas neue Jahrzehnt ist ein Scheitelpunkt für die Zukunft. Der Mensch wird zum Mond zurückkehren, die Weichen zum Mars stellen und sich auf eine interplanetare Gewinnung von Rohstoffen vor allem für Elektroautos vorbereiten. Auf unserem Planeten wird sich das Mobilitätsverhalten verändern, die Autowelt, das Konsumverhalten, die Essgewohnheiten, die Nichtverwendung von Kunststoffen und die Gewinnung von Erzen. Klimaschutz wird zur Kernaufgabe und damit auch die Fokussierung interplanetarer Rohstoffgewinnung, planetary mining genannt. Man spricht von der Artemis-Generation, benannt nach dem neuen NASA-Mondlandeprogramm der 2020er Jahre. All dies ist die Verwirklichung der Strategien des in Leipzig geborenen ISS-Direktors Prof. Dr. Jesco von Puttkamer. Danach gibt es eine Einladung in das NASA-Headquarters und zum Midatlantic Spaceport.

Die "Rovernauts" aus Leipzig sind für diese Generation führend und werden ihren Titel zu verteidigen wissen. Dafür lobt die Jesco von Puttkamer Schule Leipzig 2 VIP-Reisen zur NASA in den Osterferien 2020 aus. Diese beinhalten die Teilnahme am US-Space Camp mit einer Mondlandemission und als Crewmitglied der Rovernauts die Teilnahme an der nachfolgenden Roverchallenge.

reginajvpschoolInteressenten können sich täglich zwischen 16-19 Uhr an der Rezeption der Jesco von Puttkamer Schule Leipzig (Wurzner Str. 4) registrieren lassen oder am Schalter des Regina-Filmpalastes (Dresdner Str. 56) immer wenn der Film "Ad Astra" auf dem Spielplan steht. Weiteres folgt.

Anforderungen gibt es folgende: 12-16 Jahre, Interesse an Raumfahrt und Umwelttechnik, englisch, der Zukunft zugewandt, Spaß am Entdecken. Eine Bewerbung mit Lebenslauf sollte mitgebracht werden. Das Pilotenteam der Rovernauts und eine Fachjury laden jeden ein und wählen nach Beratung aus.

> schriftliche Bewerbung mit aussagekräftigem Anhang an: Ralf.Heckel (at)

Ab dem Jahr 2020 tritt die Jesco von Puttkamer Schule als unanbhängige internationale Institution für junge Naturforscher beginnend in Leipzig an Elternbeiräte, Schul-Fördervereine und technische Arbeitsgemeinschaften heran um diese technisch, mit Betriebsausflügen und einem zentralen Polytechnikum mit Werkstatt zu fördern sowie verdiente Jungwissenschaftler mit Reisen und Preisen auszuzeichnen.

Die Jesco von Puttkamer Schule im Porträt des Familienmagazins Kids & Co



Spendenkonto für Patenbetriebe und Förderer:
International Space Education Institute e.V.
Commerzbank Leipzig
IBAN: DE48 8604 0000 0209 9810 04

Paypal-Spende an:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Events - Conferences
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Die Jesco von Puttkamer Schule und das Space Hotel in der Leipziger Wurzner Str. 4 laden heute alle Raumfahrt-Interessierte in den Raketengarten ein. Unter einer rauchenden 6 Meter hohen Rakete und neben der Nachbildung der Apollo-Mondlandefähre (Maßstab 1:2) wird heute gefeiert. Es gibt Grillspezialitäten, Getränke und die Live-Übertragung der Mondlandung von vor 50 Jahren. Es liegen originale Berechnungen zur Mondlandung aus, welche der in Leipzig geborene NASA-Wissenschaftler und späterer ISS-Direktor Jesco von Puttkamer einst selbst anfertigte.

Dazu gibt es Biergarten-Atmosphäre, 4 NASA-Rover und einen solarbeheizten Pool (aktuell 28 Grad). Das alles gibt ein wenig das Flair am Cape Canaveral wieder, wenn nach einem Start auf der Pier und den vielen Hotels von Cocoa Beach gefeiert wird. Dazu gibt es Erlebnisberichte aus zahlreichen Starterlebnissen rund um den Globus.

Um 23 Uhr und um 0:40 Uhr überfliegt die ISS diesen Raketengarten und kann mit bloßem Auge beobachtet werden. Es wird dabei auch der Funk der Raumstation übertragen. Um 0:20 Uhr startet dann die Live-Übertragung wie sie vor 50 Jahren stattfand. Um 03:56 Uhr betritt Neil Armstrong den Mond.

Vor allem ist dieser Abend heute eine einmalige Gelegenheit für tolle Bilder vor eindrucksvoller Kulisse! Der Eintritt ist kostenfrei, der Platz aber begrenzt. Ein Unkostenbeitrag für Speisen und Getränke in Form einer Spende für den Förderverein in H.v. 10 Euro/Person ist willkommen.

Space Hotel-Gäste sind eingeladen!

Ort: Jesco von Puttkamer Schule - Campus & Space Hotel, Wurzner Str. 4, 04315 Leipzig
Zeit: ab 20 Uhr, open end

Jetzt Spenden! Das Spendenformular wird von bereit gestellt.
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