JF Ptak Science Books Post 1657
This is some beautiful thinking and work by the rocket pioneer, Hermann Oberth (1894-1989)--the teacher of Wernher von Braun, a highly functioning leader at the Nazi V-1 and V-2 base of Peenemunde, and of course after the war working for various aeronautical/astronautical concerns in Switzerland, Italy, Germany and the United States. In America he would work for von Braun at Huntsville, Alabama from 1955-1959 on the Army's ballistic missile program, a late addition to the many German scientists scooped up right after the war in Project Paperclip and deposited in the Deep South.
The gorgeous design above is the front wrapper of his rejected doctoral dissertation, Die Rakete zu den Planetenbraeumen ("The Rocket Through Planetary Space" or "The Rocket to Interplanetary Space"), published in Oldenbourg in 1923. Oberth's work was printed in a very small edition and even at that he had to pay for part of the pamphlet's printing--it turned out that the work was an instant success when issued, selling out quickly. A second edition vastly expanded the original's 92 pages into 429 in 1929.
As it turns out, in his extra moments, Oberth served as a technical advisor to Fritz Lang on his film, Frau im Mond, and his influence shows, even from cursory examination.