Wernher von Braun Treasures up for Auction

HUNTSVILLE Ala. -- A piece of history is up for auction. An archive of drawings and concepts made by aerospace engineer Wernher von Braun is for sale. A collection letters, and sketches he made in Huntsville.

17 drawings and schematics, two orbital diagram, four calculations and graph plots, and three autographed letters, all by von Braun himself are up for auction.

"It's incredibly historic and important and I would think that the city of Huntsville should hopefully put together some buyers and have it come home because this is where it belongs," said Bobby Livingston them Executive Vice president of RR Auction.

The documents all concern his series "Man Will Conquer Space Soon!" from articles published in Collier's magazine from 1952 to 1954. von Braun prepared the original drawings as a reference material for the magazine artists.

"What's mostly amazing about it though is Von Braun's thoughts are on paper, and his dreams are on paper," said Livingston. "You can see him drawing out the spaceships. It's fantastic and it shows you how important Verner Von Braun was tot he American space program."

A few highlights include drawings for a rocket that has a similar design to the Saturn V, that he would later design. It also includes a page of his calculations for landing on the moon, and concepts for a space station, mission control, and a lunar rover.

"Here he was in Huntsville, working on missiles to deliver nuclear warheads, and the whole time he's dreaming of sending men to the moon," said Livingston. "And he here is 15 years ahead of where the space program is going to be."

The series in Collier's drew attention to von Braun's vision of manned space flight. After the success of the first issue he appeared on TV and radio, and he brought his idea of the space program into living rooms across the United States.

"There's a connection between Huntsville Alabama, and those who went to the moon, and those whoa re dreaming of back to the moon, and back to mars, and into the universe," said Livingston.

The auction is being held online now through Thursday, April 19. The bid for the collection is at over $13,000  it is estimated to sell for around $100,000.

Below is a selection of some of the items in the auction. You can see the full collection here.