I was having a Skype conversation a few days ago, when this topic came up, about which I wasn’t aware.
In “Finding the Secret Space Programme,” I write about Von Braun a little bit, but I wasn’t aware of his novel about Mars. From this post,
Wernher von Braun wrote the novel (available from booksellers and online) after the end of World War II and his conversion from Nazi to American rocket designer. It’s often confused with his later non-fiction work, The Mars Project, in which he laid out initial plans for a manned mission to Mars using 10 spacecraft with a space station as a staging point. The novel describes a much larger fleet and includes an orbiting space telescope which discovers that the canals on Mars are real, meaning the planet may have life. The novel also points out that the mission was possible because the world of the 1980s had one ruling government after the U.S. defeated Russia in World War III. Ah, fiction.