Walter Hohmann Monument – Hardheim, Germany - Atlas Obscura

Walter Hohmann Monument

Hardheim, Germany

A scale rocket of an Ariane 5 rocket serves as a monument to a pioneer of space science. 


Walter Hohmann, a pioneer of space travel, was born in 1880 in Hardheim, Germany. Hohmann became famous for his calculation of spacecraft trajectories with minimal energy cost, now known as a “Hohmann transfer orbit.” They’re still used today when space probes are sent to other planets. In 1974, the town of Hardheim erected a monument in honor of Hohmann, taking the form of a nearly 50-foot-tall, scale model of the “Europa 1” rocket.

This rocket stood there until December 16, 2003, when it broke into pieces. The site remained empty until 2012. This model was modeled on “Ariane 5” on a scale of 1:4:29 and was built between October 2011 and January 2012. On March 17, 2012, this nearly eight-foot-tall model was erected on the site. The new model acts not only as a memorial for Walter Hohmann, but also as a landmark in Hardheim.

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