Even with Project Mercury in its infancy, NASA managers contemplated
projects to follow its completion. They realized that a large booster
rocket would be necessary for heavy payloads and an eventual Moon mission.
The Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA), in Huntsville, Ala., under the
technical direction of
Wernher von Braun (1912-1977), was already working on a new
large rocket, the Saturn. In July 1960, the Department of Defense transferred
the ABMA and its large booster projects to NASA. This formed the basis
for the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center.
This transfer reflected President Eisenhower's policy that civilian and
military space programs should be separately managed, but work closely
This excerpt from Administrator Glennan's diary reveals the tensions surrounding
the transfer of Wernher von Braun and his rocket team from the Army to
Diary Reproduced courtesy of T. Keith Glennan