1928—THE NOORDUNG STATION—HERMANN NOORDUNG
In 1928, Hermann Potocnik Noordung published his first and only book Das Problem der Befahrung des Weltraums—der Raketen motor (literally translated as The problem of driving on space—the rocket engine). This book was primarily concerned with manned space stations, the first in history to do so. It contained a design for a wheel-shaped structure for living quarters, with a power-generating station attached to one end of the central hub, and an astronomical observation station at the other end. He was among the first to suggest a wheel-shaped design for a space station in order to produce artificial gravity, and he pointed out the scientific value of such a station in a synchronous orbit above the Earth. His ideas were to inspire Hermann Oberth, and later Wernher von Braun and Sergei Korolev.
Sadly, Noordung himself did not profit from his amazing foresight, he died at the
Hermann Nordung, 1946
early age of 36 in great poverty, and his obituary in the local newspaper mentioned nothing of his spaceflight publication.