Template:Infobox scientist Eberhard Friedrich Michael Rees (April 28, 1908 – April 2, 1998) was a German-American (by becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States) rocketry pioneer and the second director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.[1]


Rees was born in Trossingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. After studying engineering at the University of Stuttgart, and graduated from the Dresden University of Technology in 1934 with his master's degree,[1] he worked his way to become the assistant manager of a steel mill in Leipzig, Germany,[2] Rees arrived at the Army Research Center Peenemünde in the spring of 1939[3] and managed V-2 rocket fabrication and assembly.[4] He served as Wernher von Braun's deputy from World War II through the Apollo program.[5]

Rees was in the first group of Operation Paperclip rocket scientists brought to the US by the Army Ordnance Corps, arriving at Logan Field on October 2, 1945, and serving first at the Army Aberdeen Proving Grounds, then at Fort Bliss, in 1946[6] and in 1950, at the Redstone Arsenal. In August 1957, his team developed the ablative heat shield.[7]


At launch control for the May 28, 1964, SA-6 launch

After serving as Deputy Director of Development Operations for the Army Ballistic Missile Agency,[2] Rees became the Marshall Space Flight Center Deputy for Technical and Scientific Matters in 1960 and directed the Lunar Roving Vehicle program.[8]

On March 1, 1970, Rees was appointed as the Director of the Marshall Space Flight Center,[9] in Huntsville, Alabama, from which he managed the Skylab space station development and construction. He retired from NASA in 1973.[10]

On April 2, 1998, Rees died in a DeLand, Florida, hospital at the age of 89.[5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Template:Cite news
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Dr. Eberhard Rees". MSFC Center Directors Biographical Sketches & Photo Gallery. Marshall Space Flight Center History Office. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  3. Template:Cite book
  4. "Rees, Eberhard F. M. (1909-1998)". 2007-02-01. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Template:Cite news
  6. Template:Cite book
  7. Template:Cite news
  8. Wright, Mike. "Eberhard Rees Was Marshall's Second Center Director". Management. Marshall Space Flight Center History Office. Retrieved 2008-04-29. "With Skylab we are not concerned primarily with flying a spacecraft. We are concerned with the important aims of living and working in Earth orbit and conducting the experiments that will eventually lead to many beneficial results" 
  9. Storey, Angela D (1998-04-08). "Former Marshall Director Rees Dies" (PDF). Marshall Star. MSFC Public Affairs Office. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  10. Template:Cite news
Preceded by
Wernher von Braun
MSFC Director
1970 - 1973
Succeeded by
Rocco Petrone
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