UAH Archives, Special Collections, and Digital Initiatives

Heinz Hilten Collection

Dublin Core


Heinz Hilten Collection


Heinz Hilten Collection


At the start of the Second World War, Heinz Hilten (1909 to 2013) was drafted into the German army, where he worked with von Braun’s V-2 rocket team at Peenemünde. In 1954, Hilten made his way to America, where he rejoined von Braun.

Hilten helped plan the growth of Alabama’s Redstone Arsenal until 1960, when he began designing laboratories, control centers, test stands, and administrative buildings for the newly minted Marshall Space Flight Center; Hilten also helped design the Saturn rocket program.

Hilten was also a founding member of the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra.

Collection Items

  • loc_hilt_0000006_0000042.pdf

    Von Braun, then the director of Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, delivered this speech to the legislature in 1961. In the speech, he emphasizes that Alabama must take advantage of its position in the aerospace industry and create a robust "academic and research environment" in Huntsville to attract businesses that "will give birth to major new industries throughout the state." He exhorts the legislature to fund the newly established University of Alabama Research Institute (now part of the University of Alabama in Huntsville), arguing that "the Institute will not only be self-sustaining, but will enrich the State both financially and culturally." The legislature later approved von Braun's request of $3 million for the Research Institute, enabling the purchase of 200 acres of land for the campus and the construction of the Institute in 1964. The speech includes copies of slides von Braun used during his presentation, including diagrams of Saturn and Nova rockets as well as a mockup of a Saturn rocket on the lawn of the state capitol in Montgomery.
  • loc_hilt_0000001_0000005a.pdf

    The timeline includes a memorandum from Friedjof A. Speer, manager of the Missions Operations Office, to employees of Marshall Space Flight Center. Speer notes that "astronaut Neil Armstrong is scheduled to be the first man to step onto the moon's surface." The timeline outlines the entire mission from liftoff at 8:32 AM on Wednesday, July 16, 1969 to splashdown at 11:49 AM on Thursday, July 24, 1969.

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