Government Public Relations and Media Office
Government Public Relations and Media Office

Slovenia - 10 Years of Independence
Path to Independence
Slovene Contribution to World Civilisation
The Celebration


The Slovenian rocket engineer Herman Potocnik (1892-1929) envisaged correctly all the phases of the flight around the planet Earth already in the first half of the previous century in his book Das problem der Befahrung des Weltraums (The Problem of Space Travel), published in 1929 in Berlin. In 1963 the well-known German-American rocket scientist Wernher von Braun confirmed Potocnik's original invention.

Potocnik, Herman (1892-1929)

"A spaceship for shuttling between the Earth and its orbit. It takes off as a rocket, orbits the planet as an artificial satellite, reenters the atmosphere and lands as a winged, propeller-less aircraft".

The Slovenian engineer of rocket technology, Herman Potocnik calculated and also published in his book Das problem der Befahrung des Weltraums (The Problem of Space Travel, Berlin 1929) under the pseudonym Hermann Noordung, that a geostationary satellite or "an observing station in open space" at an altitude of 35,900 kilometres (42,300 km from the centre of Earth) must travel with the speed of 3,080 metres per second in the direction of the rotation of our planet, if its position is to remain stationary over a given point on Earth. Today we know that his calculations were off by a mere 0,56 per cent! His written work was a text book for an entire generation of space technology pioneers.

In 1963 the rocket scientist Wernher von Braun stated before the launching of the American telecommunication satellite Syncom" that the distance and the approximate point in space was determined with amazing precision as early as 1929 by a captain in the Austrian army, engineer Herman Potocnik. His book "The Problem of Space Travel" marks a turning point in space and rocket technology" (Von Braun: World Astronautics Encyclopedia, Larousse 1966). Potocnik's small book has 188 pages and one hundred authentic illustrations.

He imagined his only book - according to Wernher von Braun, a genuine text book for himself and the generation of space experts who were the first to bring man to the Moon - to be an engineering proof of the technical realization of movement in space.

More information: