Stuhlinger, Ernst (1913–2008)

Ernst Stuhlinger was a physicist who played an important part in the development of rocket intrumentation, first in Germany during World War II and then in the United States. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Tübingen in 1936 and continued research into cosmic rays and nuclear physics until 1941 as an assistant professor at the Berlin Institute of Technology. In 1943, while serving in the German army on the Russian front, he was assigned to Wernher von Braun's rocket development team at Peenemunde, where he worked on guidance and control systems until 1945. After the war, he came to the United States as part of Operation Paperclip to continue work in rocketry, first in Fort Bliss, Texas, and White Sands, New Mexico, and, from 1950 on, at the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama which became the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). Stuhlinger was director of the space science laboratory at MSFC (1960–68) and then its associate director for science (1968–75), when he retired and became an adjunct professor and senior research scientist with the University of Alabama at Huntsville. His main areas of work included guidance and control, instrumentation for scientific investigations, electric space propulsion systems, and space project planning.


Ernest Stuhlinger and Wernher von Braun
Stuhlinger (l) and von Braun signing certificates of citizenship in 1955