Wernher von Braun may have been a bit mercenary in his political dealings, but his work in astronautics and rocket design was instrumental in putting American astronauts on the moon. Between 1952 and 1954, Collier’s magazine profiled von Braun’s work in the series “Man Will Conquer Space Soon!” Next week, the materials von Braun created for this series will be auctioned off, including several sketches of his rocket designs.Collier’s editor Cornelius Ryan detailed von Braun’s plans for manned spaceflight across several issues of the magazine. Articles featured topics on manned lunar and Martian exploration, the potential for a space station, property and passage rights, and, of course, the ships themselves. The ships illustrated throughout the series were based on von Braun’s earlier designs, but he worked with the series’ artists to sketch out sleeker, sexier designs that would pop on the magazine’s pages.
New York auction agency Bonham’s will auction off von Braun’s Collier’s documents on Wednesday, which have a total estimated value of $15,000-25,000. You can see a sampling of the lot below, including a few of his vehicle designs and a letter from von Braun to “Connie” Ryan.