Wernher von Braun about the Van Allen belts (Video)
In 1958 Von Braun was interviewed in Amsterdam the Netherlands.
Over 300 of the most important space and space flight experts, from east and west, participated in the 25 February 1958 space conference in Amsterdam. Wernher von Braun was also present and at one point he was interviewed by a German journalist. He was asked about the just discovered (31 January 1958) Radiation belts and the potential danger for human space flight.
Van Allen who had just discovered the deadly radiation belts around the earth, made his discovery public on 31 January 1958. Wernher von Braun was interviewed in Amsterdam on 25 February 1958, just a few weeks after the announcement of Dr Van Allen. Wernher von Braun seems very uncomfortable with the question, even the interview is in his mother tongue, he is picking his words very careful. He states that human space flight could not go above an altitude of 400 km, well below the Van Allen Radiation belts.
It seems that Werner von Braun had not expected that question, as he was telling the truth of what was discovered by James van Allen. Even today we cannot go beyond what von Braun told in 1958. The International Space Station (ISS) has an orbit between 330 and 435 km, just as von Braun stated in 1958.
The video is in German and subtitled in English by AwE130.