Forschungs-Instituts für Physik der Strahlantriebe

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Foundation of the Forschungs-Instituts für Physik der Strahlantriebe (Research Institute for the Physics of Jet Propulsion Systems) by Heinz Hermann Kölle, Stuttgart (Translated from German, written in 1954)

On July 8, 1954, after a two-year preparation period, the Research Institute for the Physics of Jet Propulsion Systems e.V. was founded at Stuttgart Airport in the presence of representatives of the federal government, the state of Baden-Württemberg, the city of Stuttgart, the Technical University of Stuttgart and industry. The statutes state that it will serve "basic and applied research in the aviation and aerospace sector." This objective is the public recognition of the new branch of science to which the Institute is the first in Europe.

The creation of research institutions in the field of space travel is one of the most frequently mentioned tasks and goals of the "Gesellschaft für Weltraumforschung e.V.", Stuttgart, in whose circle the idea for the now founded institute was born.

In March 1952 in a discussion between Dr. Walter Dornberger, Buffalo (USA), and the author of a German institute for rocket and space research for the first time it took firmer shape. In numerous board meetings of the GfW, the idea was finally condensed into a concrete plan so that contact with interested authorities and persons could be established.

In July 1952, the first meeting took place in the Federal Ministry of Transport; GfW was represented by its first chairman, Professor Dr. Karl Schütte, and its 2nd Chairman, Government Director Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Fritz Gerlach. The ministry accepted the plan and promised further support. Subsequently, a memorandum and articles of association were drafted in further board meetings as a basis for official applications. In this phase, the institute received the preliminary designation "German Astronautical Institute (Institute for Rocket and Space Research) e.V.".

The public received personal information from the institute's planning in September 1952 on the occasion of the 3rd International Astronautical Congress in Stuttgart by the Federal Minister of Transport, who welcomed the plan in a public speech. In numerous further discussions of the GfW executive board with federal and state authorities, the city of Stuttgart and the Technical University of Stuttgart, the interest and, to a large extent, the support of these offices was finally won.

The development seemed so promising that the founding of the institute was to take place on May 13, 1953. However, it had to be postponed again, because until then the binding commitment of the budget was not yet available. Only in the summer of 1953 was a positive decision made; the prospective director of the institute, Dr.-Ing. Eugen Sänger gave a lecture on rocket propulsion from the Technical University of Stuttgart. On November 7, 1953, on the basis of GfW's application, the Federal Minister of Transport decided to award research projects amounting to DM 75,000 to the proposed institute from the budget of 1954/55. The commitment required that the establishment of the institute would be funded by the state.

At this time, stimulated by the preparatory work of the GfW and plans of the Technical University of Stuttgart - the interministerial committee of the State of Baden-Württemberg for the promotion of aviation under the chairmanship of Ministerial Council Dr. Seifritz and the research department of the State Trade Office led by government architect Hipp are a welcome initiative. A joint discussion of the presumptive financiers (federal state, state) with representatives of the Technical University and the GfW was initiated by various bodies and was held on 17 December 1953 in Stuttgart under the chairmanship of Dr. Ing. Seifritz. This session is considered to be the actual birth of the Institute, as it provided the basic agreement on the budgetary allocation and the way forward.