Skip to main content

Ernst Geissler Collection

Identifier: MC-154
Materials relating to the life and career of Ernst Geissler.


  • 1950 - 2000


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research in the Archives & Special Collections reading room. Handling guidelines and use restrictions will be communicated and enforced by archives staff members.

Conditions Governing Use

This material may be protected under U. S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S. Code) which governs the making of photocopies or reproductions of copyrighted materials. You may use the digitized material for private study, scholarship, or research. Though the University of Alabama in Huntsville Archives and Special Collections has physical ownership of the material in its collections, in some cases we may not own the copyright to the material. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in our collections.


2 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Biographical / Historical

Ernst D. Geissler was born on August 4, 1915 in Chemnitz, Saxony, Germany, where he attended grammar school and high school until 1934. From there, he left to attend a technical university in Dresden, Germany, where he graduated with a diploma in Technical Physics. After graduating, he went to work with the Von Braun missile team, where he eventually patented new steering methods for guided missiles and homing devices against aircraft.

On November 16, 1945, Geissler and his wife, Gerda K. Stricker, immigrated to the United States. Geissler began to work with the U.S. Army in Fort Bliss, Texas as a group leader for flight mechanics and aerodynamics on the Hermes II missile. After five years, Geissler went on to work for Redstone Arsenal as the Director of the Aeroballistics Laboratory in charge of theoretical and experimental aerodynamics and flight mechanics. While there, Geissler helped develop the Explorer I satellite and the Pioneer V space probe, and the Redstone, Jupiter, and Pershing missiles. He also developed patents for an aerodynamically stabilized missile and an artificially stabilized missile.

In 1960, Geissler left Redstone and joined the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center of NASA. He worked as the Director of the Aerodynamics and Astrodynamics Laboratory, working on the Saturn I - Saturn V family and space shuttle development. In 1973, Ernst Geissler retired from NASA and eventually passed away on June 3, 1989.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Katharina Geissler Coupland and Barbara Geissler Stokes, 2019.

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, and competing priorities. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections as they are acquired and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.
Ben Schartung
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama in Huntsville Archives & Special Collections Repository

M. Louis Salmon Library
301 Sparkman Drive
Huntsville, AL 35899 Alabama 35899 United States of America