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Author Information: Willy Ley

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Willy Ley was a prolific writer and lecturer on scientific subjects. He was one of the earliest protagonists of a manned flight to the moon. He died less than one month before seeing his life-long dream of men landing on the moon become reality.

Ley was born in Berlin, Germany in 1906 and studied astronomy, physics, zoology, and paleontology at the universities of Berlin and Konigsberg. In 1927, Ley was one of the founders of the German Rocket Society and helped design, build and fly liquid-propellant rockets in Germany. In 1935, he was brought to the United States under the auspices of the American Rocket Society, and became a U.S. citizen in 1944. His literary works on astronautics and astro-history are considered classics in their field.

His writings on what might be accomplished in astronautics with technology, either available or soon attained, encouraged many young people to pursue careers in the astronautic sciences and technologies where they managed to turn his writings into reality. As an early advocate of space travel, Willy Ley helped usher in the rocket age.

Willy Ley wrote the famous book The Conquest of Space that opened the doors of many minds to a reality that never seemed possible before. He was also the technical advisor for the Tom Corbett - Space Cadet adventure series that captured so many young minds in the early 1950s. The series was written by Carey Rockwell


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