Nazi rocket scientist's top-secret papers go on sale

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A once top-secret manuscript that is widely recognised as a milestone in the development of modern rockets is to go under the hammer in New York today.

Wernher von Braun, the Nazi physicist-turned-leading figure in US space exploration, created the 166-page document for his PhD dissertation in April 1934. It contains the scientist's handwritten annotations as well as his charts and graphs.

Von Braun was awarded a doctorate in physics on the basis of the dissertation, but its contents were considered so pivotal to the future of rocket development that it was seized by the German military and remained classified until 1960.

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