Georg von Tiesenhausen

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Georg Heinrich Patrick Baron von Tiesenhausen [1]
Born(1914-05-18)May 18, 1914
DiedJune 4, 2018(2018-06-04) (aged 104)
Alma materHAW Hamburg
Known forOperation Paperclip, Lunar Roving Vehicle
Spouse(s)Asta Esch Von Tiesenhausen [2] [3]
ChildrenEvamaria,[2] Georg Jr.[2] [4] and Jutta[2]
Scientific career
FieldsMathematics, Engineering
InstitutionsWehrmacht, Peenemünde Army Research Center,
United States Army, NASA

Georg Heinrich Patrick Baron von Tiesenhausen (May 18, 1914 – June 4, 2018)[5] was a German-born American rocket scientist.

After being brought to the United States in 1953 as part of Operation Paperclip, he was part of Wernher von Braun's team at the United States Army, and later, NASA. He is credited with the first complete design of the Lunar Roving Vehicle and made a variety of other contributions to the space program. He was a member of Baltic German noble family of Tiesenhausen.

Early years[edit]

Tiesenhausen was born in Riga, Latvia, in the Russian Empire[6] to a Baltic German family from his father's side, while his mother was of Scottish ancestry. He studied engineering in Hamburg, but was conscripted to the Luftwaffe in 1939 and sent to the Eastern Front. He was allowed to continue his studies and in 1943 and graduated from University of Hamburg. After his graduation he was sent to the Peenemünde Army Research Center.[7][8]


Tiesenhausen worked with Wernher von Braun developing V-2 rockets in Germany during World War II. He came to America in 1953 as part of Operation Paperclip, where he again worked with von Braun on guided missiles such as the Redstone, this time for the United States Army at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. He was later transferred to NASA, where he worked on various spaceflight programs, including the Apollo program, which landed men on the Moon.[9]

He continued to work for NASA well into the Shuttle era.[10][11] Later he worked on space tether missions.[9]

After NASA[edit]

Between 1987 and 2010, von Tiesenhausen frequently volunteered at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, lecturing to students in Space Camp programs about the future of space exploration and other topics.[12][13]


In 2007, he became one of the original inductees into the Space Camp Hall of Fame.[14] On February 3, 2011, he was presented with the U.S. Space & Rocket Center's Lifetime Achievement Award for Education by Neil Armstrong.[15] "Dr. von T is one of those rare individuals who has a natural ability to inform and inspire, to educate and motivate, and, most remarkably, to endure," Armstrong said.[16]


  1. ^ Georg H. P. Baron von Tiesenhausen obituary, The Huntsville Times, June 10, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels Freiherrliche Haeuser Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels [de]
  3. ^ Georg F. von Tiesenhausen Biography Marshall Space Flight Center
  4. ^ Space pioneer Georg von Tiesenhausen dies at Alabama home,; accessed June 10, 2018.
  5. ^ Dr. Georg von Tiesenhausen, last of German rocket team, dies in Alabama,; accessed June 10, 2018.
  6. ^ Georg H. P. Baron von Tiesenhausen,; accessed June 19, 2018.
  7. ^ Oral history interview with Georg von Tiesenhausen December 16, 1988. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  8. ^ "Peenemunde Interviews Project, 1989-1990". National Air and Space Museum. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  9. ^ a b MSFC History Project Georg Von Tiesenhausen conducted by A. Dunar and S. Waring,, November 29, 1988.
  10. ^ Georg von Tiesenhausen, rocket scientist – obituary, The Telegraph, June 5, 2018.
  11. ^ George von Tiesenhausen, interview by Dr. Donald Tarter on January 1, 1987.
  12. ^ "Georg von Tiesenhausen". Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  13. ^ "Google Translate". Retrieved June 10, 2018.
  14. ^ Space Camp, Hall of Fame, paragraph: Georg von Tiesenhausen
  15. ^ William T. Martin, "Von Braun team member Dr. von Tiesenhausen honored by U.S. Space and Rocket Center",, February 3, 2011.
  16. ^ Neil Armstrong visits U.S. Space and Rocket Center to present education award,, February 2011.