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Biography

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Overview (3)

Date of Birth 24 March 1917Berlin, Germany
Date of Death 11 December 1984La Jolla, California, USA
Birth NameKrafft Arnold Ehricke

Mini Bio (1)

Krafft A. Ehricke was born on March 24, 1917 in Berlin, Germany as Krafft Arnold Ehricke. He is known for his work on Spaceflight (1985), Earth II (1971) and The Twentieth Century (1957). He was married to Ingeborg Ehricke. He died on December 11, 1984 in La Jolla, California, USA.

Spouse (1)

Ingeborg Ehricke (? - 11 December 1984) (his death) (3 children)

Trivia (11)

After his death, he was survived by his wife, Ingeborg, three daughters (Astrid Ehricke, Dotti Neufeld, and Krista Deer), and grandchildren (Kristin Ehricke & Brian Deer) . Ingeborg and his 3 daughters founded the nonprofit Krafft A. Ehricke Institute for Space Development in 1985.
Studied celestial mechanics and nuclear physics at Berlin Technical University, where he received a degree in Aeronautical Engineering.
World-famous for his contributions to the technology and philosophical meaning of space development.
Had to fight the Russians in World War II under the dictator he most despised. He commanded tanks in Hitler's attack on Moscow and, after receiving injury, was transferred to the Peenemunde Rocket Development team, where he specialized as an engineer building propulsion systems for the German V-2 rocket from 1942-1945. He came to the U.S. with 'Wernher Von Braun''s rocket team in 1945.
Entered U.S. private industry in 1953, helping develop Atlas in the 1950s, at General Dynamics. Appointed Director of the Centaur program in 1959 and Director of Advanced Studies in 1962. He became a General Dynamics Vice President after inventing Centaur, the first liquid hydrogen propelled upper stage launch vehicle. Centaur empowered the United States to explore our solar system with planetary probes.
Won the Haley Space Flight Award in 1957.
Invested in 1966 into the International Aerospace Hall of Fame.
Headed Space Global, a worldwide astrophysics consulting firm.
After retiring in the 1970s, Ehricke published a series of papers on lunar civilization. He worked independently to introduce the first comprehensive concept and rationale for space industrialization and commercialization, building a collection of studies, designs, writings and paintings describing the colonization of Moon.
In 1974, Ehricke was appointed Chief Scientist at the North American Rockwell Space Systems Division.
On April 20, 1997, the created remains of Ehricke, "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry, space physicist Gerard K. O'Neill, counterculture guru Timothy Leary, and 20 other fans of space exploration were on board when a Pegasus rocket was launched from a Lockheed L-1011 jetliner 36,000 feet over the Canary Islands. Celestis Inc., a Texas-based company, bought space on the rocket to put into orbit the ashes of 24 "passengers," each inside a vial the size of a lipstick holder. Each family paid $4,800 for the privilege of having their loved ones' remains launched in canisters into orbit.

Personal Quotes (5)

Man, the cutting edge of terrestrial life, has no rational alternative but to expand the environmental and resource base beyond Earth. [On the "extraterrestrial imperative"]
The concept for space travel carries with it enormous impact, because it challenges man on practically all fronts of his physical and spiritual existence. The idea of traveling to other celestial bodies reflects to the highest degree the independence and agility of the human mind. It lends ultimate dignity to man's technical and scientific endeavors. Above all, it touches on the philosophy of his very existence. As a result, the concept of space travel disregards national borders, refuses to recognize differences of historical or ethnological origin, and penetrates the fiber of one sociological or political creed as fast as that of the next.
Man, the cutting edge of terrestrial life, has no rational alternative but to expand the environmental and resource base beyond Earth. Global development, therefore, must be based on an open world concept and include both the development of extraterrestrial resources and the wiser management of our terrestrial resources. This is the extraterrestrial imperative, its central goal is the preservation of the civilization.
The 21st century will see the planets drawn together and the complexion of human civilization changed. Space has already demonstrated that a bountiful future is not possible for mankind without it. Herein lies the ultimate greatness of space flight.
While civilization is more than a high material living standard, it is nevertheless based on material abundance. It does not thrive on abject poverty or in an atmosphere of resignation and hopelessness. It needs vigor as well as vision. Therefore the end objectives of solar system exploration are social objectives in the sense that they relate to, or are dictated by, present and future human needs.

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