Pedro paulet peruvian pioneer of the sapce age
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Esta ponencia sobre el sabio peruano Pedro Paulet Mostajo fue presentada a la SpaceOps 2010 Conference. Incomprensiblemente, los organizadores han publicado una edición mal editada (los números en ...

Esta ponencia sobre el sabio peruano Pedro Paulet Mostajo fue presentada a la SpaceOps 2010 Conference. Incomprensiblemente, los organizadores han publicado una edición mal editada (los números en paréntesis no coinciden con las fuentes citadas). Las veces que intentamos comunicarnos con ellos, los correos electrónicos se borraban. De otro lado, luego de continuar con la investigación, ya no estamos de acuerdo con el contenido. Asumimos los errores de fondo pero no los de forma.

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Pedro paulet peruvian pioneer of the sapce age Pedro paulet peruvian pioneer of the sapce age Document Transcript

  • SpaceOps 2010 Conference<br><b><i>Delivering on the Dream</b></i><br><i>Hosted by NASA Mars 25 - 30 April 2010, Huntsville, Alabama AIAA 2010-2217 Pedro Paulet: Peruvian Pioneer of the Space Age Downloaded by 181.65.21.234 on October 31, 2013 | http://arc.aiaa.org | DOI: 10.2514/6.2010-2217 Alvaro Mejia 1 Institute of Aerospace Historical Studies of Peru, Lima, Peru 1969 was the year when man stepped on the Moon. Many space pioneers have contributed to carry out the major endeavor achieved by humankind. Pedro Paulet (July 2, 1874 in Arequipa, Peru – 1945 in Buenos Aires, Argentina) was a Peruvian scientist who in 1895 conducted experiments on a rocket motor made of vanadium steel that burned a combination of nitrogen peroxide and gasoline. There are indications that actually Paulet had invented the rocket engine in the Sorbonne University, France, where he graduated by the end of 19th Century. Analyzing the direct sources from the late 1920’s among others, books and magazines from members of German Society for Space Flights (VfR, German abbreviations of Verein für Raumschiffahrt), it have been found that, at that decisive time in the history of space rocketry, Paulet’s studies were an important reference for those German pioneers, specially for scientists and engineers who would construct the V2 missiles and later contribute to put the first men on the Moon. And he also probably influenced on Russian space pioneers. If true, this would credit Pedro Paulet as the designer of the first liquidfuelled rocket engine. News of this groundbreaking advance in rocketry did not surface until October 27, 1927, when a letter from Paulet appeared in an issue of the Peruvian newspaper El Comercio in which he claimed legal ownership of his earlier rocket motor design. Recognizing that rocketry was beginning to boom in Europe, Paulet sought witnesses to help verify the work he said he had done years earlier. The letter was circulated across the world by the Russian Alexander Scherschevsky in summary form. Had Paulet's work been authenticated, he would today be considered the undisputed father of liquid propellant rocketry. As it is that title is more commonly attributed to Robert H. Goddard, who in 1926, flew a liquid-fuelled rocket engine in a test vehicle. Paulet also designed reaction motors in 1895, propulsion systems in 1900 and an airplane using thermoelectric batteries and rocket engines in 1902. He alluded to the use of nuclear propelled rockets for flights to the moon. The rocket Paulet I, a joint venture between the Peruvian Air Force and Peruvian scientific entities, was named in Paulet's honor and was launched on December 27, 2006. It reached an altitude 45 Km. It travelled at five times the speed of sound. This is Peru's first space program. Future plans include putting a satellite into orbit. I. Introduction P EDRO Paulet Mostajo was born on July 2, 1874, the son of Pedro Paulet and Antonina Mostajo, in the small town of Tiabaya, near the prosperous city of Arequipa in Peru’s southwest. He was born in a poor family and his father died, as he was a child. He found fatherly affection in the French lazarist priest Hippolyte Duhamel, who educated him at ―San Vicente de Paul‖ school, known as The School of the Poor, founded by Duhamel in 1885. Paulet was one of the founding students. Duhamel forged in Paulet not only the love to God, but to the homeland. Duhamel obtained from France, as donation for his school, a scientific laboratory and a modern library, and provided to his students the same level of education as in Europe. Three generations of governors, scientists and statesmen went to this school. One of them, Victor Andres Belaunde, President of the United Nations General Assembly in 1959 and 1960, thanked Duhamel in his memoir for the education in ―religious feelings, labor discipline, logical rigor, mathematical precision, love of Latin and French literature and refined cultivation of the Spanish literature, liturgical rhythm and landscape feeling‖ he received. [1] Since childhood, Paulet stood out because of its intelligence and creativity. His cousin, the politician, Francisco Mostajo, who attended the same school, remember Paulet’s curious spirit: ―He was the restless cell in the classroom, 1 Member of the Peruvian Institute of Aerospace Historical Studies, alvaromejia@gmail.com, AIAA Member Grade for author. 1 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Copyright © 2010 by Alvaro Mejia. Published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc., with permission.
  • Downloaded by 181.65.21.234 on October 31, 2013 | http://arc.aiaa.org | DOI: 10.2514/6.2010-2217 but with healthy mischief‖. He added that Paulet seemed destined to be a great artist. ―He revealed as an artist first. As soon as he learned to handle a pencil, a pen, a charcoal, he started drawing, on spontaneous impulse, and, in this regard, he really enjoyed doing so that became an artist by self education‖ [2]. Paulet was probably influenced by Jules Verne’s book ―From the Earth to the Moon‖, in which a big cannon launched a giant ball transporting a group of men into the space. Furthermore, if we add to this the cannons Paulet probably saw as a child during the Peru-Chile war (1879-1884), we may imagine how he started to dream with reaching the moon and imagine a vehicle that could escape the terrestrial atmosphere. Pedro Paulet devised a concept different from Verne’s. Instead of the cannon propelling the spacecraft, Paulet imagined a spacecraft propelled by rockets. As a child, outside the city, he started launching mice in homemade rockets, taking notes about the behavior of Newton’s Third Law on Action and Reaction in his experiments. Once he said: ―In my native city, which is built with lava from an old nearby volcano, there is no fear of significant fires, because fireworks are commonly used at all parties there. Since I was a child I learned to make them, sometimes attached to its ―guides‖ snoods holding objects‖ [3]. Because of his humble condition, Paulet could not study at the university, but fortunately, Luciano Bedoya, President of San Agustin University, knew about him and asked the members of the jury to take him an entry exam, which he passed easily. After finishing his studies, he earned the degree of Bachelor of Sciences and Arts. In 1890, the Harvard University assembled in Arequipa the most modern astronomical observatory in the Southern Hemisphere [4]. Its purpose was to observe the path of Halley’s Comet that would occur in 1910. The Grup d’Estudis Astronòmics webpage states: ―the contribution of Arequipa station to the astrophysics was not inconsiderable at all. The study of cepheids in the Magellanic Cloud was made there, leading Miss Herietta S. Leavitt to discover the famous period-luminosity relation, which aided to determine the size of our galaxy and its distance from neighboring galaxies, and definitely, the scale of the universe‖ [5]. Some Peruvians worked in such observatory. It was there, where Paulet defined his interest for astronomy. During that time, the Peruvian government and congress determined to transform Peru in an industrialized country and decided to send the most outstanding young people to study in Europe. In 1894, after some formalities performed by Duhamel, the administration of the President Remigio Morales Bermudez awarded Paulet a scholarship to pursue studies at the Applied Chemistry Institute of the Sorbonne in Paris, where he graduated as well as from the School of Arts and Decoration. II. Rocketry Pioneer The first public testimony of Paulet’s inventions appeared on October 7, 1927 in his letter to the Lima newspaper ―El Comercio‖ [6]. Some experts doubt if Paulet has been the first person testing a liquid-fueled engine. Nevertheless, in his letter, Paulet offered for the very first time concepts that would be later tested in 1920-1930 by aerospace experts. According to such letter, between 1895 and 1897, in the land of Verne while he was still alive, Paulet invented a liquid-fueled rocket engine. In Belgium, in 1902, he finished designing a spacecraft to which he applied his engine, the Torpedo Plane. According to Paulet’s interview with the Argentinean newspaper ―Critica‖ in 1944, while being a student in Paris he was interested in searching for an engine for a flying vessel as he had imagined. In such interview he says: ―At the beginning of this century, mechanical engines were questioned. At the Institute, we learned that the steam engine, with a performance lower than 10% and less improvable indeed, resulted powerless against the new progresses. The electrical engine was only transportable with the generation of power in heavy accumulators. Furthermore, the new explosion engine of the brand-new automobiles was relatively heavy and complicated for the rising aviation‖ [3]. Then, he thought ―… the problem would be solved using explosive forces, not in closed cylinders propelling a piston and with its ―4 times‖ complex, but in rockets with constant injection of explosive charge…‖. The first device invented by Paulet was the Girándula Motor, which, as he described: ―Consisted of a bicycle wheel, fitted with two rockets and fed by tubes attached to the spokes. The fuel comes through the tubes from a kind of fixed carburetor placed near the axis, with a ring of holes. This explosive charge flows through the tubes every time the nozzle faces one of the holes‖ [3]. III. First Thoughts and his career In the interview with the Argentinean newspaper, Paulet stated that, while studying in Paris, he was extremely attracted to the work about explosive materials of his professor at the Applied Chemistry Institute, the chemist Marcelin Berthelot, the most important French scientist after Pasteur. Through several research and executions of test as well as with the guidance of Berthelot, Paulet reached the conclusion that the best fuel for its engine was such 2 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • Downloaded by 181.65.21.234 on October 31, 2013 | http://arc.aiaa.org | DOI: 10.2514/6.2010-2217 based on Melinite, a high explosive used in mining and war, created by the French Eugene Turpin. This explosive was so powerful that exploded to all directions. Paulet’s success was to give it only one direction through its engine, thus setting the foundations of the rocketry. This fuel is also known as nitrogen peroxide. [3] But also Julius Verne dealt with it in his novel ―Facing the Flag‖, although he changed the names Turpin and melinite. Turpin was put in prison unjustly accused of betraying his country because he sold his invention to a foreign country. Years later, however, a letter written by Verne was found in which he announced that he would write a novel based on the Turpin case. In 1903, the Wright Brothers flew an airplane. A year later, Paulet was required by the Peruvian government to direct the School of Arts and Trades, where future managers would be educated to lead Peruvian engineers necessary for the industrialization of the country. For this, Paulet went all over Europe to hire professionals and professors who would help him in his labor. From that position, in 1908, he intended to replace the French technical education with the technical education provided in Switzerland or Germany, which was ―… the kind of education which fits the diverse needs of our rising industry, our lack of resources and population density‖. Furthermore, he added: ―because we are not surrounded as in Switzerland or Germany by many factories where to practice before, during and after studies, we will supplement such deficiency by gradually turning our workshops into state workshops with real and intense production….‖ [7] This was a brave gesture because in Peru there was a French Military Mission; whereas in Chile, the rival country, there was a German Military Mission. As if the French-Prussian conflict was brought back to life in South America. This would define the disapproval by the Peruvian Government of his airplane project. Within his plan to industrialize the country, there was the further development of his idea and research started in Paris in 1895 and of course the manufacture of his aircraft. However, he was not the only one who had a project of a flying artifact. Although, at the beginning of the 20th Century the aviation was rising, we can already find in Peru a couple of inventors of flying systems. According to the ―Peruvian Aeronautic History‖ [8], one of these men was the French citizen Alfredo Armand, who in 1909, in the city of Cerro de Pasco, tried to apply a new motor propeller system based on the ―backward force produced by the abrupt expansion of gases‖ similar to the explosions of the booster rockets. There is no information on the destiny of this invention. Other experiment was carried out in the city of Tacna, where Adrian Solorzano invented and manufactured ―a 1.40m biplane model‖ which reached 4m of height‖. Other pioneer was Carlos Tenaud, who, after studying the flight of birds, in 1908 offered to the Peruvian government an airplane which he had designed in France. The government chose it, for its development and construction, at the School of Arts and Trades, where Paulet performed as director. [9] In the interview with the Critica newspaper, Paulet stated that science is shortsighted when it imitated the process of nature. He thought that instead of imitating nature, science must go beyond it. In this regard, he proposed that instead of studying the flight of birds, as made by Tenaud, weightlessness must be studied, i.e. proposing to study the concepts of astronautics. Both inventors argued in written documents about what kind of military airplane was convenient for the country. Those were times in which the country was living a tension situation with neighboring countries. Paulet noted that investments must be made wisely, because Peru was undergoing a severe economic crisis. He proposed the creation of the Pro-Aviation League, where inventors could democratically compare their inventions. We suppose that Paulet kept his craft in secret and wanted to show it there. Paulet was not only an expert on airplanes. In 2001, historians Patricia Seminario and Ramon Guitierrez have revealed a letter dated September, 1909 in which Paulet described a submarine he planned for military purposes. [10] In March, 1909, Tenaud tried to make a propeller airplane fly but it did not get off the ground. However, in 1910, the administration of President Leguia (1908 – 1912) supported his ideas, and appointed him as professor of aeronautics at the School of Arts and Trades and sent him to France to study and graduate as a pilot. The Peruvian State did not see the value of Paulet’s inventions. In 1910, he resigned his position and returned to Europe, where he was devoted to his family and private businesses. According to Mostajo [2], over the course of almost two decades, Paulet was director of Michaud Editorial in Paris; he manufactured toys from his invention, based on scientific principles; and worked as a cartoonist of global political situation for ―Petit Republique‖ newspaper. Furthermore, he was a representative for the former Metallurgical Society of Sena. In 1921, President Leguia, who had been reelected, appointed Paulet as Consul in Dresden, Germany. Paulet left his private businesses and held diplomatic positions in Europe and Japan until 1935. 3 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • Downloaded by 181.65.21.234 on October 31, 2013 | http://arc.aiaa.org | DOI: 10.2514/6.2010-2217 IV. 1927 - The year which defined the Space Era In 1923, the Rumanian-German Hermann Oberth published the book The Rocket into Interplanetary Space, in which he proved that spaceflights would be possible using that liquid-fueled engine he suggested. Such engines are the only ones capable to propel an apparatus and make it escape the terrestrial atmosphere and transport it to the external space, where there is no gravity [11]. Although recognized German scientists ignored him, a small group of enthusiasts for spaceflights closed ranks with him. The most eager fellow was the Austrian astronomer Max Valier. In 1927, this group founded the Society for Spaceflights or Verein für Raumschiffahrt (VfR) in German, with the purpose to realize the liquid-fueled engine proposed in theory by Oberth. Few months later, Paulet revealed his studies. Let’s review the chronology. In July 24, 1927, the Peruvian newspaper El Comercio published the following news: the first one was about the American Charles Lindbergh who flew from New York to Paris in thirty-three hours and a half. And the second one was about the Max Valier who proposed an airplane propelled by rockets in order to break such record and flight from Berlin to New York in less than two hours. Even though, in this case, there were black powder rockets [12]. Paulet always wanted that his aircraft and its development would be useful to Peru. When he saw that a Peruvian newspaper praised the study of an airplane-rocket, he managed to publish a letter on the same newspaper. This happened in October 07, 1927. Only three months had passed since VfR foundation. In his letter, Paulet stated that, three decades before, he had designed an airplane-rocket superior to Valier’s, which he could not realize [6]. He assured that his design was superior to Valier’s because, first, it had a pivoting hang glider with several enginesrockets placed on the base. With the tip upwards, it would take off vertically. Second, when rotating the hang glider, it would displace horizontally. Back in vertical position, landing would be easy. He said that Valier’s design did not have something like that, and it would force its occupants to turn somersaults when returning to land. Paulet knew that the ovoid shape was the most appropriate for a spacecraft; because of its aerodynamic characteristics it protected the pilot for maneuvers. ―By incorporating a row of rockets, positioned both below and equatorially, which angle could also be varied, it would be easy to direct the vehicle vertically, horizontally, or obliquely, resisting any contrary forces that the atmosphere might produce, to remain in space and then descend to the ground‖. Even though the content of the letter was the detail Paulet provided about his liquid-fueled propulsion motor. Regarding the power the motor reached, thirty years ago, he said: ―A single nine and a half kilogram rocket, undergoing 300 explosions per minute, could not only maintain a constant thrust against the dynamometer, of up to 90 kilograms, but could operate without any structure’s damage for nearly an hour. Under such conditions, it would not be reckless to predict that, using two batteries of 1,000 rockets each, one in operation while the other rested, it would have been possible to lift several tons‖. [6] Paulet had published this letter in the expectation of getting an answer from the Peruvian State, but it did not happen. On the contrary, in Germany others would take notes of his inventions. V. From Valier To Von Braun Max Valier was a scientific promoter and science fiction writer who had left his studies on physics due to the First World War. When he read Oberth’s book, he was so excited and decided to write another book to make Oberth’s ideas accessible to everybody. The Advance into the Space, a book written by Valier, appeared in 1925. The book had such a great success that some years later it had six reprints, in which the text suffered minor variations. In the latest two books published in 1928 and 1930 (the latter suffering a drastic updating), was added the heading Raketenfahrt (something like The Rocket Flight). Both books praised the liquid-fueled engine invented by Pedro Paulet. Let’s take a look at the chronology of facts before reaching this event. Valier not only wrote that book and several articles published in several countries and languages, but his determined character pushed him to pass from the theory to the practice. Although Oberth was the most important theorist, Valier was the man of action. He traveled throughout Germany giving lectures to arise the interest for spaceflights, and looking for supporters to finance his experiments and build a spaceship. In 1925, he submitted and expressed to the Junkers Society a plan composing four stages: • studying all kinds of existing rockets, including those of solid fuel. • applying the propulsion of those rockets to the transportation of people in existing vehicles (bikes, cars, sleigh and ships). • building airplanes specially developed and applying liquid fuels to them. • building an aircraft rocket that could escape the terrestrial atmosphere limits. 4 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • Downloaded by 181.65.21.234 on October 31, 2013 | http://arc.aiaa.org | DOI: 10.2514/6.2010-2217 The curious thing is that although they were convinced of the goodness of liquid-fueled rockets, Valier, Oberth and other enthusiasts for spaceflights continue trying in 1926 to rectify the Columbiad, the cannon Verne had imaged in his book From the Earth to the Moon and which he made man reaching the moon in fiction. In July 1927, Valier led the creation of VfR, where Oberth as well as other scientists, not only from Germany or Austria, but from other parts of Europe, became members. Valier refused to be its President because of his constant trips. Johannes Winkler was then appointed President. That year, Charles Lindbergh made his pioneering flight, Max Valier undertook the challenge to surpass his achievement and Paulet revealed the aircraft he had invented thirty years before, in his letter to El Comercio newspaper. According to Megan Paulet, daughter of the Peruvian scientist, the letter went around the world in different languages, thus arriving to the members of the VfR. Despite the publication of Paulet’s letter, Valier pursued with his plan to test rocket engines in several vehicles, although he continued using solid fuels. If Paulet’s letter was published in October 1927, in November Valier used his power of persuasion to get a financer for his experiments: the automobile businessman Fritz Von Opel. Both started testing with automobiles propelled by black powder rockets. They only obtained combustion of a few seconds, but considered it a success. Thus, they started to arrange several public shows that will be used by Opel to publicize its company and VfR to promote its activities. The second event of such tests, named Opel Rak II, took place on May 23, 1928 among the applause and astonishment of 3,000 people gathered in the racing circuit of Automobile- Verkehrs- und Übungs-Straße (AVUS), close to Berlin. Ironically, the same day, Oberth was presenting his theory about liquid-fueled engine rockets to the German Engineers Society (Verein für Ingenieure VfI), which represented the German scientific Establishment. They refused such theory and the aerospace expert Willy Ley, a member of VfR, attributed such failure to the tests made by Valier with black powder fuels, which rested credibility of Oberth’s theory the Society. This event would mark the separation of Valier and Oberth. It is worth mentioning that days before, on May 15, the VfR’s newsletter, Die Rakete (The Rocket), published a small note inviting to read one article on Paulet’s invention [13], which we have not found. However, the most interesting is that on May 24, a day after Opel Rak II, Paulet began its participation in the celebration for the Centenary of the Berlin Geographical Society. During those days, Paulet and the scientists of VfR met together. In the report about his participation in the Centenary of Berlin Geographical Society, dated June 1928, Paulet promoted the immigration of German scientists to Peru, in particular, the VfR members. [14] On September, 1928, Valier, separated from Fritz von Opel after the Opel Rak II, published the new edition of his book in which praised Paulet’s engine. First, he praised the ―amazing power‖ of the engine designed by the Peruvian and then, he compared it to any other previous attempt to obtain the ideal engine for the space adventure. He said: ―Paulet’s work is even more significant for the project of development of an aircraft rocket, because he has proven for the first time –as compared to the few seconds of the combustion of black powder rockets – that it is possible, by the use of liquid fuels, to build a rocket engine that would burn for hours‖. [15] How was Paulet’s engine? As he described, the combustion chamber was a cone crowned with a cylinder and the oxidant and the fuel were injected to the combustion chamber through the sides, while the sparkplug was embedded near the oxidant tube. It was a simple design, but effective. All the force of the combustion was shot out through the nozzle, which was the conical tube. Is it possible that since then Valier started collaborating with the Peruvian Paulet? It is noted that Opel Rak II marked the separation between Valier and Opel because the latter, despite the clear contributions Valier made to his experiments, he would have captured the attention of the media, eager to get publicity for his brand. It is known that Valier retired without making great fuss and continued developing the liquid-fueled engines. Oberth’s fortune was different. Although the members of VfR questioned Valier’s experiments, these were widely spread in the media and gave such publicity to the Society that Oberth had the chance to put into practice his theoretical knowledge. It happened no less than a month after the Opel Rak II. The writer, Thea von Harbou, had published that year the novel Frau im Mond (The Woman in the Moon). Her husband, the filmmaker Fritz Lang, wanted to make a movie based on the novel and thought it would be good publicity to launch the day of the premiere a liquid-fueled rocket. So, in June, 1928, he hired Oberth as scientific advisor for the film and, of course, for building the rocket. Oberth provided advice for the script without problems. The problem was when he had to build the rocket. He was not good at mechanics – as he recognized years later in ―My contributions to astronautics‖ [16], so it was a great opportunity but also a challenge. Fortunately, a few months later appeared the book ―The Rocket for Transportation and Flight‖ [17], in which the Russian Alexander Borisowitsch Scherschevsky, member of VfR, analyzed the reports of Paulet and reached to the conclusion that his postulates about the construction of liquid-fueled engines were correct. ―According to the reports prepared by Paulet, it is evident that, with the inefficient rocket engines of that time, which construction was also limited for the materials available, it was possible to design rocket engines propelled with liquid fuel. This is addressed above all to the critics and skeptics‖, wrote Scherschevsky. 5 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • Downloaded by 181.65.21.234 on October 31, 2013 | http://arc.aiaa.org | DOI: 10.2514/6.2010-2217 Die Rakete, in its October 1928 edition [18], made a complimentary summary of the book, stating that it was a well-documented work and easily available for most people. We must add that the book took the credit to revaluate the theoretical work of Russian Tsiolkovski, which was unknown until then in Occidental Europe. Scherschevsky’s book is until now a work usually quoted by historians of aerospace development of years 1920 - 1930. It is predictable that Scherschevsky got firsthand information about Paulet’s work, because Oberth hired him as his assistant and entrusted him the building of the rocket’s combustion chamber that will be launched during Lang film’s premiere. Unfortunately, the Russian and other assistant, Rudolf Nebel, were not good at mechanics and the rocket was never ready. Oberth said discreetly good bye to Lang. Did Scherschevsky meet with Paulet? It cannot be confirmed yet. However, if so, he should have used Paulet’s sketches. In this regard, in 2004, Hans Barth, one of Oberth’s biographers, has revealed that the Russian, who lived in Germany, was a spy of the Soviet regime. Since the archives of the Red Army contained the rocket sketches Oberth wanted to build in such occasion and which the Russian secret services obtained thanks to the detailed reports prepared by Scherschevsky [19], it would be fair to ask if Paulet’s sketches were also there. Whereas Oberth had difficulties to build this rocket, in another part of Germany, a 16 years old adolescent paid a curious and enjoyable tribute to Valier. The kid had defined his vocation for spaceflights when he read Oberth’s complex book. However, after attending with great enthusiasm the successful presentations of Valier and Opel, he collected all the fireworks he could and put them on the back of his skateboard, imitating their vehicles, he achieved such a great impulse that the vehicle lost control, alarming the neighbors of his community. The kid was taken to the police station. Then, he was taken out by his father, nothing less than the Ministry of Agriculture. He was nicknamed ―the young delinquent‖. His real name was Wernher Magnus Maximilian Freiherr Von Braun or simply Wernher von Braun. He had a noble origin and, in 1929, would be officially admitted at the VfR. On the other hand, between 1928 and 1929, Valier had exhausted the stages of his plan, and he proved with black powder rockets in automobiles, gliders and airplanes. In the 1930 edition of his book, he recognized once again the superiority of Paulet’s work. Megan Paulet, daughter of the wise man, stated that members of the VfR requested Paulet to be part of that society to build his Torpedo Airplane, but he refused it when he knew about their intentions to construct war weapons [20]. This is probably linked to the fact that Valier audaciously managed to meet with Hitler – as stated by the Führer – to ask him financing for his experiments in order to build liquid-fueled engines in exchange of using them in war missiles. The most disseminated version says that Hitler refused such offer because he thought that Valier was just a dreamer. However, the other version says that he was interested in Valier’s offer; but as he died a year later, Hitler laid aside such idea. The meeting would have been held in 1932, according to writer Manfred Nagl [21]. In any case, the question would be if he approached Hitler with Paulet’s technology. Later on, we will see the similarity between the engine designed by Paulet and the one designed by Max Valier. The fact is that in 1930, already separated from Opel and about to update his book, Valier started to develop a reactive liquid-fueled engine for Heylandt gas factory, which would supply carbolic gas as liquid fuel. Did Valier have access to Paulet’s studies? How he could develop in such a short time an engine like that? Did Paulet collaborate with Valier’s experiments? Here is a description on this regard made by the German aerospace expert Heinz Gartmann about the combustion chamber built by Valier. ―Then, Valier undertook a serious work, working day and night for two months. He had finally in his hands a usable combustion chamber. It was composed of an ordinary steel tube in which the exhaust pipe was welded to one end, and the injection system to the other. The thing resembled a cuttlefish with fixed tentacles. These ―tentacles‖ were the tubes through which the liquid oxygen and alcohol flowed to the combustion chamber. Valier was running fast to his destiny. He walked the rest of the path in three large stages [22]. When analyzing Valier’s engine, it is noticed that he used Paulet’s engine principles although he used a more efficient injection system. Valier made his first engine operate in a public show on April 17, 1930, but the automobile did not reach a high speed. According to Heinz Gartmann, the fuel used by Valier was carbonic acid. Once again according to Gartmann, the Shell factory asked Valier immediately to use gasoline as carburant. Valier continued testing. In one of his experiments, an explosion took away his life. Straight away from the tests to the assembled chamber that was only an ordinary stand. All the enormous precautions that should have been taken could not avoid the consequences. The inventor stood in front of the combustion chamber vertically built, the conductor upwards. The flames burned his face. Concrete walls, reinforced glass, goggles to observe, photoelectrical cells, for goodness sake! There was neither time nor money to install all of that! The main instrument was a rocker arm shaft, an ordinary rocker shaft, absolutely banal, on which a quintal of turnips could be weighted. Valier measured the thrust of its combustion chamber with weights! [22]. Valier died on May 17, 1930. It seems that in Valier’s design, the oxidant entered through the sides (cylinder borders) and the fuel was injected through a spherical capsule, which had holes through which the fuel flowed. This generated a wrong 6 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • Downloaded by 181.65.21.234 on October 31, 2013 | http://arc.aiaa.org | DOI: 10.2514/6.2010-2217 distribution of the fuel because it did not have a proper proportion, the fuel mixture produced a pressure that the structure could not support and exploited, thus killing Valier. In August, 1931, the French magazine Science et Vie stated that Paulet was the third modern pioneer of astronautics, it confirmed that his apparatus and means were of a simple nature and informed that Fritz von Opel and Hermann Oberth had tried to use Paulet’s studies without success [23]. The case of Opel is unknown, because we contacted the Opel factory and did not have a satisfactory answer. The case of Oberth could be the film The Women in the Moon. In effect, if we compared Oberth’s engine with Paulet’s, the similarity is quite revealing. Oberth improved slightly the nozzle shape of Paulet’s system, but the combustion chamber, because of its conical shape, did not allow the gases generated by the explosion to escape easily, but it made it lose force (speed). Nevertheless, Willy Les wrote that Oberth had the idea of this type of conical engine in 1929 [24]. A fact that is not possible, because Paulet’s studies were known since 1927. Furthermore, it is known that the engine conceived supposedly by Oberth was used as base for VfR samples that in fact worked, according to the expert Kenneth Gatland [25]. For the same reason, we are still surprised for the letter signed by Oberth and addressed to a functionary of the Peruvian Government dated September 1975: “Dear Mr. Del Castillo: Assuming that you want to come to Germany, I suppose you can read German without problems. I would appreciate very much your intention. The name of Paulet is known to me. He had worked mainly – if I have been correctly informed – with nitric acid and benzene propulsion engines, until the police forbade it. If you want to visit me, please let me know in advance. At present, I am not sure if I will stay here in May or if I will be able to receive visits. Sincerely Hermann Oberth” On the contrary, in 1947, the American expert James Wyld wrote impartially as follows: ―Paulet’s device appears to have been the earliest example of a so-called bipropellant rocket motor, in which the oxidizer and the hydrocarbon fuel are in separate tanks and are mixed only in the combustion chamber. His use of nitrogen peroxide as oxidizer also fore-shadowed certain modern propellants such as nitric acid, and the set-up of his test stand was quite similar to types used in later years. The intermittent fuel injection which he employed has not been commonly used in more recent motors, which almost invariably employ a constant-pressure combustion cycle‖. [26] Therefore, Paulet’s influence on German aerospace scientists can be confirmed, they improved the design of Paulet’s engine, since he could not do it, i.e., testing it in flying objects. Thus, in 1931, Johannes Winkler, President of Vfr and editor of Die Rakete, was the first one in launching a liquid-fueled rocket. During the same year, a young man called Arthur Rudolph, assistant of Valier when the latter had the accident, improved Valier’s engine for Heylandt factory and, years later, he was one of the scientists who collaborated with Von Braun in the construction of the fearful V-2 missiles for the German Army during the Second World War. On the other side, Paulet continued requesting Peru’s government to finance his Torpedo Airplane. He did not have success. First, he spent some time as Consul in Germany and Japan, between 1932 and 1935. According to Megan, it was there where he improved the thermo-electrical interior of his aircraft. Then, he returned to Peru to hold office at the Commercial Department of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and from there he looked for strengthening the commercial relations with Argentina, other country which was economically favored by the war, to where he was assigned in diplomatic mission in 1941. In 1940, a year before going to Argentina, in an article of the magazine ―Mercurio Peruano‖, Paulet stood back from the Nazism; however, he said that Germany was the best example of a country which had been industrialized in a different way, like without capital in cash. He suggested that Peru could do the same but he believed that to make it a reality three conditions should be available: ―a disciplined population of workers, a technique that could manufacture what we do not have from what we have and a regime in which all individual capital could turn into social capital‖. Paulet thought that the prosperity Peru was undergoing would allow the creation of an iron-and-steel industry which would supply to the neighboring countries, included Argentina [27]. However, in 1944, Paulet was interviewed by the Argentinean newspaper ―Critica‖, which has been mentioned above, where he stated that his craft could fly and submerge as a submarine. During the Second World War, Diesel engines, able to operate under water, adopted as fuel the nitrogen peroxide. Paulet was the first to speak about such fuel at his time [28]. Paulet died in Buenos Aires, in January, 1945, a few months before the American Army captured Von Braun, Rudolph and others, who would later work for the NASA and manufacture Apollo XI, which set men on the Moon. 7 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • Valier was buried with honors because of his contribution to space rocketry. A crater on the Moon has his name. Oberth is considered one of the fathers of astronautics. Pedro Paulet did much more! Acknowledgments I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped to obtain all the information presented in this paper. With this paper we aim and want to claim the recognition of Pedro Paulet as a pioneer of the space age. References 1 Mostajo, Francisco. ―Pedro E. Paulet. Una evocación emocional‖. Diario ―La Crónica‖, Pag. 13. Lima, 29 de enero de 1950. ―Hace 40 años un Peruano, Precursor de la Moderna Aeronavegación, Inventó el Avión sin Hélices‖. Entrevista a Pedro Paulet en el Diario Crítica. Buenos Aires, 18 de abril de 1944. 3 Paulet, Pedro. Carta al diario El Comercio. Lima, 7 de octubre de 1927. 4 ―Informes sobre aviación‖. Diario El Comercio. Lima, 24 de julio de 1927, pp. 16-17. 5 Revista Die Rakete. Berlín, Alemania. 15 de Mayo de 1928. 6 Revista Die Rakete. Berlín, Alemania. Octubre de 1928 7 ―Sensationeller Archivfund: Sowjets ließen Oberth ausspionieren‖. Diario Siebenbürgische Zeitung. Alemania, 12 de julio de 2004 8 Lademann, Robert - W .-E. Artículo "Verrons-nous, un jour, l'avion fusée?". Revista Science et Vie Nº 170, tomo XL. París, Francia. Agosto de 1931 9 WYLD, James H. ―The Liquid-Propellant Rocket Motor — Past, Present, and Future‖. Journal of the American Rocket Society 1947, vol.00 no.70 (2-15) 10 Paulet, Pedro. ―La Actual Guerra Mundial y la Economía del Perú‖. Revista Mercurio Peruano, Vol. XXII – Nº 160. Lima, junio de 1940, pp. 342-347(28) Revista Investigación y Ciencia Nº 125 (1987), edición en español de Scientific America 11 Belaúnde, Víctor Andrés. ―Trayectoria y destino‖. Tomo I. Lima: Eds. de Ediventas, 1967 (Lima: Talls. Gráfs. P.L. Villanueva) 12 De La Jara, Carlos. ―Historia Aeronáutica del Perú – Tomo I‖ Lima : Instituto de Estudios Históricos Aeroespaciales del Perú, 1975. 13 Oberth, Hermann. Die Rakete zu den Planetenrdumen [The Rocket into Interplanetary Space] (Munich-Berlin: R. Oldenbourg, 1923) 14 Valier, Max. Raketenfahrt. Der Vorstoss in den Weltenraum [The Advance into Space] (Munich-Berlin: R. Oldenbourg, 1928) 15 Oberth, Hermann. My contributions to astronautics. 16 Scherschevsky, Alexander B. El Cohete para Transporte y Vuelo (1929) 17 Nagl, Manfred. ―SF, Occult Sciences, and Nazi Myths‖. Science Fiction Studies #3 = Volume 1, No. 3 = Spring 1974. 18 Gartmann, Heinz. The Men behind the Space Rockets (New York: David McKay, 1956) 19 Ley, Willy. Rockets, Missiles, and Men in Space 20 Gatland, Kenneth. Exploración del Espacio. 21 Parodi Isolabella, Alberto. Reseña histórica de los observatorios astronómicos de Monte Harvard, Chosica (1889-1890) y Carmen Alto, Arequipa (1890-1927). Publicación: Arequipa : CONCYTEC, 1989 22 Paulet, Pedro. ―Relaciones de las escuelas industriales con el Ministerio de Fomento‖. Boletín de la Dirección de Fomento. Octubre de 1908. 23 Zlatar Stambuk, José. ―Carlos Tenaud y Pomar‖. Lima: Impr. FAP, 2006. 24 Gutiérrez, Ramón y SEMINARIO, Patricia. El ingeniero Teodoro Elmore Fernández de Córdova (1851-1920). Su contribución a la arquitectura peruana. Lima: Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería, Proyecto Historia UNI, 2001. 25 Paulet, Pedro. ―El centenario de la Sociedad Geográfica de Berlín‖. Lima: Sociedad Geográfica de Lima, [1928] 26 Paulet Wilquet, Megan. Pedro Paulet, 1874-1945. Lima, Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (1988) 27 http://www.astrogea.org/surveys/ oak_ridge.htm, La Estación de Arequipa Downloaded by 181.65.21.234 on October 31, 2013 | http://arc.aiaa.org | DOI: 10.2514/6.2010-2217 2 8 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics