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German Rocket Scientist Konrad Dannenberg Dies at 96

German rocket scientist Konrad Dannenberg, a member of the team that helped put man on the moon, died in Huntsville, Alabama, aged 96, according to media reports.

Exlporer 1 rocket launching

Dannenberg took part in the US rocket program after the Second World War ended

Konrad Dannenberg's wife Jackie said he died Monday of natural causes, the Birmingham News reported on Tuesday, Feb. 17.

Dannenberg played a role in the Redstone, Jupiter and Saturn rockets. It was the Saturn V that put the first American astronaut on the moon.

In 1950, 118 German scientists came to Hunstville as part of Wernher von Braun's team. With Dannenberg's death, only six survive.

Born in 1912 in Weissenfels, Germany, Dannenberg earned his master's degree in mechanical engineering from the Hannover Technical University.

Inspired by Austrian amateur rocketeer Max Valier, who advocated the use of rockets for space flight, and automobile engineer Fritz Von Opel, who built the world's first rocket-powered automobile engine in 1928, Dannenberg and his colleagues began building their own rockets, NASA said on its Web site.

Dannenberg was drafted by the German Army in the 1930s as a horseman, but eventually released from military duty because he was deemed unsuitable to ride horses. He was next sent to Peenemuende, which would become Germany's premier rocket development and test site.

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