Visiting The Hermann Oberth Memorial House


Hermann Julius Oberth's memorial house is one I've know for a long time and have never visited. I've been passing buy every time I visited Mediaș and looked at the rocket in front of the memorial house, wondering what the story is behind it. Rocketry and astronautics is not exactly my area of interest, but even so, it is always nice to learn new things and this is history after all.

Visiting The Hermann Oberth Memorial House.jpg

When I saw that the memorial house is one of the tourist attraction taking part of the night of the museums in mid May, knew that was my chance and I was right.

Hermann Julius Oberth 25 June 1894 – 28 December 1989) was an Austro-Hungarian-born German physicist and engineer. He is considered one of the founding fathers of rocketry and astronautics, along with the French Robert Esnault-Pelterie, the Russian Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, the American Robert Goddard and the Austro-Hungarian born Slovenian Herman Potočnik. source


The memorial house is situated at Hermann Oberth street No. 23. Yes, the street is named after him and he totally deserves that.


When we got there it was already dark, but still managed to take a decent photo of the racket and the memorial house from outside, that was open to the public in 1995, on the 100th birth anniversary of Hermann Oberth.


The museum is structured in three exhibition modules dedicated to Conrad Hass, the inventor of the first multistage fuelled rocket, to Hermann Oberth, the father of space flights and to Dumitru Dorin Prunariu, the first Romanian cosmonaut. source

Please keep in mind that this is the house where the scientist had lived once, therefore space is limited as it was not built as a museum. I tried my best to take decent photos, but given the limited space and the number of visitors, I may have failed at times.



The first thing you see when you enter is this astronaut suit, which was of Hermann Oberth's. I must admit, this was the first real astronaut suit I see in real life. We've all seen suits in movies, but rarely in real life. There were two things that came into my mind when I saw the suit. The first one was the size of it. Everyone said it's very small. The other thing that is obvious is the difference between this suit and the ones wee see in TV these days. We realize technology is developing at a breakneck speed and this is a very good thing.


This is why I said this was my chance. When we entered the first room, this man, who at first I thought was an aviation officer, was speaking to the visitors. Then after a closer look I saw he was not in uniform, he was in fact wearing a suit with a cockade. He later told us he was wearing the cockade because that day was an anniversary, unfortunately I forgot what it was. So long story short, he shared a lot of information about Hermann Oberth, his work and achievements. He was the museologist.


You may be wondering what these are. At first glance they look like arrows, but they are not. In fact these are rockets with solid fuel built in 1529. The idea here was to fill those little tanks with fuel and ignite them one after the other. Back in those days an idea like this looked really crazy as everyone knew flying is only possible for birds.

Then came Hermann Julius Oberth, who was born on 25 June 1894, when the racketing industry was non existent. We were told Hermann Oberth was dreaming about flying and going to the space one day and he was also considered crazy, a lunatic that was dreaming about unrealistic things that will never happen.


This is the mock-up of the K-13, a 2.837m tall, short range racket that comes from the Soviet Union.


This is the mock-up of space shuttle Columbia, launched on the 12th of April, 1981.


These are rackets from early days, that broke the record. On the left there's the Bumper, an American racket that was able to reach 400km in 1949. The other is a French rocket called Dragon III, that was able to reach 500 km in 1969. If you look at the speed of development, you can see they were able to advance 100km distance in 20 years. Fortunately in time, development was not so slow anymore.


It was interesting to see how these rackets and space shutters have been developing over the years. We all know that not every project was successful though, some of them had a tragic end.


This is the mock-up of the space shutter called Energy, launched in 1988.


This was his desk and chair. This is where he was working when he was at home. Please note that back then scientists were working with pen and paper. There were no computers, everything was done on paper. We were told by the museologyst that Hermann Oberth was always thinking of new solutions and this is why many of his formulas are written on pieces of papers, envelops and everything he could put his hand on, where he was at that time when the idea came to his mind. He says once, during a speech, Hermann Oberth asked forgiveness from his wife, for being absent and thanked her for putting up with her. The truth is, these great minds are rarely finding their place in society, because their area of interest is not understood by the masses.



This is the telescope gifted to him by his 10 year old son.


This life and work is presented on photos and there are also blueprints of his work, that maybe seem to scientific to many, but those works have their place in the museum.




This is the mock-up of the "conical engine", for which he got a scientific certificate for on 23 July, 1930.





Above you can see the Romanian cosmonaut Dumitru Prunariu and the Soyuz 40 spacecraft and Salyut 6 space laboratory he flew in the space with, in 1981.




Last, but not least, here you can see how the food of astronauts looked like back in those days. Dried food, which is what astronauts are eating in space.

I know for a fact that Italy is one of the food suppliers for astronauts and they say they can manufacture almost everything, starting from spagetti. Those dried packages are then connected to hot water up in the space, to make the food.

Although technology has evolved since Hermann Oberth, living in space, even for a short period is very difficult, but they say it worth it.

Overall I'm glad I was able to visit


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