Operation Paperclip Revisited   Sputnik 1957, NASA 1958

Operation Paperclip Revisited   Sputnik 1957, NASA 1958

From Wikipedia

“Operation Paperclip was a secret United States intelligence program in which more than 1,600 German scientists, engineers, and technicians were taken from former Nazi Germany to the U.S. for government employment after the end of World War II in Europe, between 1945 and 1959. Conducted by the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA), it was largely carried out by special agents of the U.S. Army‘s Counterintelligence Corps (CIC). Many of these Germans were former members and some were former leaders of the Nazi Party.

As a young man, von Braun worked in Nazi Germany’s rocket development program. He helped design and co-developed the V-2 rocket at Peenemünde during World War II. The V-2 became the first artificial object to travel into space on 20 June 1944. Following the war, he was secretly moved to the United States, along with about 1,600 other German scientists, engineers, and technicians, as part of Operation Paperclip. He worked for the United States Army on an intermediate-range ballistic missile program and developed the rockets that launched the United States’ first space satellite Explorer 1 in 1958. He worked with Walt Disney on a series of films that popularized human space travel in the U.S. and beyond from 1955 to 1957.

But the engineer who made the first human spaceflight possible was nowhere to be seen. Only when he died in 1966 was the name of the Chief Designer, Sergei Pavlovich Korolev, revealed to the world. This genius at the heart of the Russian space program was one of the Soviet Union’s most closely guarded secrets.

In 1960, his group was assimilated into NASA, where he served as director of the newly formed Marshall Space Flight Center and as the chief architect of the Saturn V super heavy-lift launch vehicle that propelled the Apollo spacecraft to the Moon. In 1967, von Braun was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering, and in 1975, he received the National Medal of Science.”

So we had a German genius and 1,600 of the best German scientists and engineers and we gave them a pass on their participation in the Nazi Party. The Russians got the next best group so how did they get so far ahead of us in the space race? Does anyone know? Anyone?