The Story of Dr. Wernher von Braun's Questar


In 2003 the Kennedy Space Center - Center Director contacted our astronomy club for help. He was using a telescope in his office to look out the window to look at things around the space center and he was having trouble getting the telescope to focus. So a few of our club members went to his office the telescope he was using was none other than Dr. Wernher von Braun's Questar!!! Upon inspection it appeared that the telescope was in pristine condition. The reason the Center Director was having problems focusing on images was because the windows in his office were dirty (Florida has a tendency to deposit a layer of deposits on windows due to high humidity). After a window cleaning the telescope was operating as expected.

When we realized the historical significance of this telescope we reached out to Questar to see if they had any additional information about the origins of this telescope. Below is the email we received from Questar:

From: Questar
Sent: Wednesday, July 02, 2003 2:42 PM
To: ************
Subject: Historical Questar Telescope
Kennedy Space Center Amateur Astronomers
Dear Sir;
I can give you a little history of the Telescope. It was one of three Telescopes made for the US Army Redstone Arsenal, who is still the listed owner. Telescope #9-*** was purchased for the US Army Redstone Arsenal by Dr. Wernher von Braun who was the Deputy Associate Administrator of NASA in Washington, DC. This Telescope was made on 05/18/59 and is a Questar Standard. There is no listing of what kind of mirror it has so from the date we believe it has Pyrex Mirror. There is no record of it ever being serviced by us.


Questar offered to perform a free servicing of the telescope but understandably so the Center Director did not want the telescope to leave the grounds of Kennedy Space Center. So Dr. Wernher von Braun's Questar still resides today at Kennedy Space Center.