Following World War II, the US enacted a secret program, Operation Paperclip, to recruit Germany’s top scientists, engineers, and technicians. The primary purpose for Operation Paperclip was to gain a military advantage for the US in the Cold War and the Space Race. The program recruited over 1,500 Germans to the US. Two of whom were instrumental in the success of the US space program: Dr. Strughold, and the brilliant propulsion engineer recognized as the “Father of Modern Rocketry,” Dr. Wernher von Braun.

In 1947, Dr. Strughold was sent to work near San Antonio, at the US Air Force School of Aviation Medicine (SAM). Here, he began conducting some of the first research into the potential medical challenges posed by space travel and coined the term “space medicine.” In 1949, he was appointed the chief of SAM’s new Department of Space Medicine.

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