Valier, Max (1893–1930)

Max Valier

Max Valier was an Austrian amateur rocketeer and space popularizer who advocated the use of rockets for spaceflight. Educated in physics at the University of Innsbruck, he experimented with rockets in the 1920s with the Verein für Raumschiffahrt, (Society for Space Travel), which he helped found and of which Wernher von Braun and Hermann Oberth were prominent members. His non-technical book Der Vorstoss in den Weltenraum (The Advance into Space) spread Oberth's ideas to a wide audience. Valier was also interested in using rockets to propel ground vehicles and, together with Fritz von Opel and Friedrich Sander, built the world's first rocket-powered automobile in 1928. Two years later, aged only 31, Valier was killed when a small, steel-cased LOX/alcohol engine, designed for use in the Opel-RAK 7 rocket car, exploded during a test run in his laboratory. See also Valier-Oberth Moon gun.



1. Essers, I. Max Valier: A Pioneer of Space Travel. Washington, D.C.: NASA TT F-664 (1976).
2. Valier, Max. Raketenfahrt. Munich: R. Oldenbourg, 1930.