Wernher von Braun pioneered the technology that sent Americans into space during the Cold War. After being escorted into the United States by military personnel, von Braun was flown to New Mexico where he spent the next five years launching V-2 rockets into the desert to test assess its altitude range. He was also the project director of Fort Bliss in Texas. In 1950 the project was transferred to Alabama, where it flourished, developing prototypes of ballistic rockets such as Redstone, Jupiter C, Juno, and Saturn 1B. Seeing the Soviets surpass the U.S. by launching Sputnik into orbit, while his designs failed (the Navy's vanguard rocket exploded on the pad), was a jab at von Braun's pride; so, he quickly assembled his Redstone rocket, sending Explorer 1 into orbit in 1958, and another version carried Alan Shephard on the first U.S. sub-orbital flight in 1961. In John F. Kennedy's inaugural speech, he had a bold vision to conquer the frontier of the mind, which would be manifested in the space race. Von Braun and his team, who worked for NASA, answered the call by building the Saturn V, which successfully landed Americans on the moon in 1969. One year later, the White House requested his presence as the Deputy Associate Administrator in Washington D.C., to promote space activities; but he resigned after two years and became the vice president for engineering and development at Fairchild Industries, Inc. In 1975, von Braun founded the National Space Institute, designed to increase public understanding and support of space exploration. Von Braun's technology helped the United States excel in the space race, but that does not excuse the crimes he committed during World War II.