A conversation between Wernher von Braun and Willy Ley

November 25, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

Archive.org has a wonderful 90 minute English language conversation between two famous German rocket scientists!

Check it out |MP3|

A historic conversation between German rocket scientists Wernher von Braun and Willy Ley. Highlights include the development of the German rocket programs during WWII, and the space program in the 1950’s. Recorded June 9th and 23rd, 1959, in New York City and Redstone Arsenal, Huntstville, Alabama.

Indeed hearing Wernher von Braun and Willy Ley talk is very cool.

Ley and von Braun talk about:
old school days in Germany, Hermann Oberth‘s influential book Die Rakete zu den Planetenräumen (“By Rocket Into Interplanetary Space“), Fritz Lang movie Woman In The Moon, rocketry and rockets from the V-2 to the Saturn rocket family, geosynchronous satellites, the Mercury project, space stations, weather satellites, the Van Allen radiation belt, the role of humans in space, sending men around the Moon, the logistics of photographing and visiting Venus and Mars, space probes, a “semi-philosophical question about Man’s rights in space”, theological objections (and blessings), the compatibility between religion and science, Blaise Pascal, extraterrestrial life, vegetation on Mars, smart aliens, Arthur C. Clarke’s first law.

As you can see it is very historic!

Wernher von Braun (left) and Willy Ley (right)

I won’t say much more about the fascinating Wernher von Braun as I recently posted a biographical radio dramatization about him. But I will point out that Willy Ley is pretty damn amazing. Ley was an avid reader of Science Fiction, contributed science articles to Astounding Stories and Galaxy Magazine and was a member of the Trap Door Spiders – there is a wonderful Wikipedia entry about him to explore HERE.

Posted by Jesse Willis

My Destiny, The Stars: A 1969 South African radio drama about Wernher von Braun

November 24, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Online Audio 

SFFaudio Online Audio

In researching for another post, on an obscure Science Fiction radio drama called SF’68, I discovered a cool website about a South African radio station called “Springbok Radio” and one of its other programmes: The Challenge Of Space!

Here’spart of their description of The Challenge Of Space:

“Sponsored by Carling Black Label Beer, this series examined man’s early ventures into space. The space race of the 1950’s and 1960’s spawned this series, especially the Apollo missions to the moon in the late 1960’s. … recorded at the AFS Studios in Johannesburg… Many of the stories were dramatisations of true events and also included futuristic tales of space exploration of the future.”

Reading that, I was excited to hear the only extant episode, the second one broadcast, which is about Wernher von Braun!

After hearing the episode I am reminded of one of the few movies I’ve been waiting more than a decade to see, a 1960 biographical film about von Braun called I Aim At The Stars. I was convinced it sounded like a fun film when one comedian pointed out that it should have been subtitled “But Sometimes I Hit London.” Have a listen to My Destiny, The Stars.

Springbok Radio - The Challenge Of SpaceThe Challenge Of Space – My Destiny, The Stars
By June Dixon; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 28 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: Springbok Radio
Broadcast: May 26, 1969
Cast:
Donald Monat as Charles B. Ryan
Clive Parnell
George Korelin
Kerry Jordann
Hal Orlandini
Diane Wilson

After hearing this episode I am reminded of one of the few movies I’ve been waiting more than a decade to see, a 1960 biographical film about von Braun called I Aim At The Stars. I was convinced it sounded like a fun film when one satirist noted that I Aim At The Stars should be subtitled “But Sometimes I Hit London.”

Posted by Jesse Willis