Adolf Thiel


1915 – 2001


Who was Adolf Thiel?

Adolf Thiel was an Austrian-born German expert in guided missiles during World War II, and later worked for the United States Army and TRW.

Thiel had been an associate professor of engineering at the Institute of Technology in Darmstadt before joining Wernher von Braun's team at the Army Research Center Peenemünde, where he was involved in developing the V-2 rocket. By the end of the war, he was transferred to the United States by the US Army where he resumed his work with von Braun's group in Fort Bliss, Texas. During the nine years Thiel worked for the U.S. Army, he held positions at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico and at Huntsville, Alabama. He primarily supervised preliminary design of the Redstone missile and other short- and intermediate-range ballistic missile systems.

Thiel left the Army in 1955 to join Space Technology Laboratories, which later became TRW. During the late 1950s, he was program manager for the Thor ballistic missile, which became a first-stage launch for the Explorer spacecraft. He was director of space projects for TRW when it developed Explorer VI and Pioneer V, two of the earliest US craft to explore interplanetary space. He oversaw all of TRW's space programs during the 1970s.

We need you!

Help us build the largest biographies collection on the web!

  • Technische Universität Darmstadt
Jun 2, 2001
Los Angeles

on July 23, 2013


Use the citation below to add to a bibliography:


"Adolf Thiel." STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 27 Oct. 2021. <>.

Discuss this Adolf Thiel biography with the community: