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Haber, Heinz
Haber, Heinz
German expert in aero-medicine during World War II, including experiments on Dachau concentration camp inmates. Lectured briefly in Heidelberg after the war, then worked at the US Air Force School of Aviation Medicine, where he pioneered research into space medicine. A popularizer of the idea of manned spaceflight in American in the 1950's. Returned to Germany and became a television presenter of popular science programs in Germany from the 1960's.

Born: 1913-05-15. Died: 1990-02-13.

As of January 1947, working at Heidelberg (American Zone of Occupation). Later moved to America and became an astrophysicist and popular writer on the prospects for spaceflight.

Wikipedia: Heinz Haber (May 15, 1913 – February 13, 1990) was a German physicist and science writer who primarily became famous for his TV programs and books about physics and environmental subjects. His lucid style of explaining hard science has frequently been imitated by later popular science presenters in Germany.

After studying physics in Leipzig, Heidelberg and Berlin and obtaining his doctorate, Haber served in World War II for the German Luftwaffe as a reconnaissance aviator until 1942. He returned to the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut für Physik, where he headed a small Potsdam-based division constructing a diffraction spectrograph.

After the end of the war Heinz Haber — as well as several other Germans involved in military research like Wernher von Braun — was targeted by the Operation Paperclip with the aim of denying scientific expertise and knowledge to the Soviet Union and bringing researchers and scientists to the United States; Ultimately this operation resulted in a considerable contribution to the development of NASA. Haber at first stayed in the American occupied zone of Germany and lectured at Heidelberg. However in 1946, he emigrated to the United States and joined the USAF School of Aviation Medicine at Randolph Air Force Base. Together with fellow German Hubertus Strughold, he and his brother Dr. Fritz Haber (April 3, 1912 – August 21, 1998) made pioneering research into space medicine in the late 1940s. The brothers proposed parabolic flights for simulating weightlessness.

In 1952, he became associate physicist at the University of California, Los Angeles; in the 1950s, Haber eventually became the chief scientific consultant to Walt Disney productions. He later co-hosted Disney’s Man in Space with von Braun. When the Eisenhower administration asked Disney to produce a show championing the civilian use of nuclear power, Heinz Haber was given the assignment. He hosted the Disney broadcast called Our Friend the Atom and wrote a popular children’s book with the same title, both of which explained nuclear fission and fusion in simple terms. General Dynamics, a manufacturer of nuclear reactors, sponsored Our Friend the Atom and the nuclear submarine ride at Disneyland’s Tomorrowland.

In the 1960s and 1970s, he was well known in Germany as a popular science spokesperson and wrote magazine columns and numerous books and presented his own TV programs like Professor Haber experimentiert, Das Mathematische Kabinett, Unser blauer Planet, Stirbt unser blauer Planet?, Professor Haber berichtet, and WAS IST WAS mit Professor Haber. He was founding editor of the German science magazine Bild der Wissenschaft from 1964 to 1990. His memorable experiments included one where the onset of a nuclear chain reaction was simulated with hundreds of mousetraps, each one having been loaded with two ping pong balls.

Heinz Haber had an unparalleled capability for presenting hard scientific facts in a manner and language which was understandable and entertaining for the layman without being sloppy. This won him many accolades, such as the Adolf-Grimme-Preis and the Goldene Kamera.

Heinz Haber had two children, Kai (* 1943) and Cathleen (* 1945), from his first marriage, and a third child, Marc (* 1969), from the second. His first wife Anneliese lives in Tucson, Arizona, his second wife Irmgard in Hamburg, Germany.

Country: Germany. Bibliography: 1980, 394, 5476.

1949-1952 - .
  • Awakening public interest in the United States and in Europe in manned spaceflight. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Clarke, Haber, Ley, von Braun, Whipple. Spacecraft: Von Braun Station.

    Awakening public interest in the United States and in Europe was manifested by publication in September 1949 of The Conquest of Space by Willy Ley. Ley featured detailed descriptions of orbital space stations and manned flights to the Moon and back as part of man's quest to conquer the frontier of space. The First Symposium on Space Flight was held 12 October 1951 at the Hayden Planetarium in New York City. Papers read at the Symposium were published in March 1952 by Collier's magazine under the title 'Man Will Conquer Space Soon.' Contributors were Wernher von Braun, Joseph Kaplan, Heinz Haber, Willy Ley, Oscar Schachter, and Fred L. Whipple. Topics ranged from manned orbiting space station) and orbiting astronomical observatories to problems of human survival in space, lunar space ventures, and questions of international law and sovereignty in space. Finally, Arthur C. Clarke's The Exploration of Space, first published in England in 1951 and a Book of the Month Club selection in America the following year, persuasively argued the case for orbital space stations and manned lunar and planetary space expeditions, popularizing the notion of space flight in general.

1950 October 12 - . LV Family: von Braun concept vehicle. Launch Vehicle: Von Braun 1948.
  • First Symposium on Space Flight - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Haber, Ley, von Braun.

    The First Symposium on Space Flight was held at the Hayden Planetarium in New York City. Participants included Wernher von Braun, Joseph Kaplan, Heinz Haber, Willy Ley, Oscar Schachter, and Fred L. Whipple. Among the topics discussed were an orbiting astronomical observatory, problems of survival in space, circumlunar flight, a manned orbiting space station, and the question of sovereignty in outer space.

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