UAH Archives, Special Collections, and Digital Initiatives

Ernst Geissler Collection

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Ernst Geissler Collection


Ernst Geissler Collection


Ernst D. Geissler was born on August 4, 1915 in Chemnitz, Saxony, Germany, where he attended grammar school and high school until 1934. From there, he left to attend a technical university in Dresden, Germany, where he graduated with a diploma in Technical Physics. After graduating, he went to work with the Von Braun missile team, where he eventually patented new steering methods for guided missiles and homing devices against aircraft.

On November 16, 1945, Geissler and his wife, Gerda K. Stricker, immigrated to the United States. Geissler began to work with the U.S. Army in Fort Bliss, Texas as a group leader for flight mechanics and aerodynamics on the Hermes II missile. After five years, Geissler went on to work for Redstone Arsenal as the Director of the Aeroballistics Laboratory in charge of theoretical and experimental aerodynamics and flight mechanics. While there, Geissler helped develop the Explorer I satellite and the Pioneer V space probe, and the Redstone, Jupiter, and Pershing missiles. He also developed patents for an aerodynamically stabilized missile and an artificially stabilized missile.

In 1960, Geissler left Redstone and joined the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center of NASA. He worked as the Director of the Aerodynamics and Astrodynamics Laboratory, working on the Saturn I - Saturn V family and space shuttle development. In 1973, Ernst Geissler retired from NASA and eventually passed away on June 3, 1989.

Collection Items

  • spc_geis_000001_000041.pdf

    This speech was given by Wernher von Braun, then the director of the Development Operations Division at the Army Ballistic Missile Agency, at the 1958 ASME-ARS Aviation Conference in Dallas, Texas.

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