Guido von Pirquet

Guido von Pirquet, an Austrian rocket pioneer, was born Mar. 30, 1880, in the family castle in Hirschstetten, near Vienna, inheriting the title of Baron. He developed an interest in rockets at an early age. He and a friend founded a rocket society in Vienna in 1926, one year before the more famous Verein für Raumschiffahrt (Society for Space Travel, usually known as the VfR) was founded in Berlin. While most of the VfR members were interested in sending a rocket to the Moon, inspiring Fritz Lang’s film, Frau im Mond (1929), von Pirquet took a longer view, wondering how best to send a spacecraft to Venus or Jupiter or Saturn…