The victors would grant him this wish. Yesterday's enemy became a friend and helper, and so the history of Wernher von Braun is not only about the opportunism of the individual, but rather also about the opportunism of a great nation: after 1945, the American brought more than a thousand German scientists - rocketeers, aviation engineers, and biologist specializing in space flight - into the country; an operation which began under the code name 'Overcast' and which was carried forward for more than twenty years as 'Project Paperclip.'
Wernher von Braun would lead his German scientists to create both America's military missile program and its peaceful civilian space exploration missions. As NASA's leading engineer and researcher, his triumphs would extend from manned landings on the moon to unmanned spacecraft reaching Jupiter, Neptune, and beyond. And it all began with a bicycle ride through the beautiful mountain countryside of southern Germany!