Rockets are simply amazing. We love everything about them: we like watching them launch, we like the technology behind them, but most importantly we love telling others about our fascination with rockets. It seems that rockets are not so hugely popular, so we’ve decided to assemble a short article to introduce you with 5 of the most interesting facts about rockets. We’ve browsed through NASA’s brief history of rockets and picked the most interesting facts for you! Read carefully, rocket fans:
First real rocket was launched in 1232 BC by the Chinese
Wars are responsible for some of the most frightening and some of the most amazing human inventions. Rockets were one of them. Chinese were in war with the Mongols and started to experiment with gunpowder filled tube. They attached these tubes to arrows and fired them at the Mongols during the battle at Kai-Keng. It is debatable whether or not this devices were effective or not. However, the psychological effect on their rivals was huge.
After the battle, The Mongols started producing rockets themselves and introduced them in Europe.
First rocket with liquid fuel was launched on 26 March 1926 by Robert Goddard
Goddard made many experiments with solid-propellant rockets but strongly felt that liquid would propel better the rockets. The task of building such a rocket was much more difficult than all other projects he has been working on. However, after many experiments and testing, he was able to design such a rocket. Driven by gasoline and liquid oxygen, the rocket climbed 12,5metres and flew for 2 ½ seconds before miserably diving in a cabbage patch. Not impressive by any means, this short flights turned out to be a ground breaking invention. Goddard kept working on improving his invention and his rockets flew higher and longer
First launch into space was in 1942 by the Germans
The German engineers have been working on a prototype of a rocket that is able to reach space for years, and finally the first one – V2 was launched in 1942. The fired at sites in London during the WWII. The V2 was small in comparison with today’s rocket, but its launch marked a whole new era in rocketry.
However, the Germans have been defeated by the Allies and they were able to put their hands on unused V2 rockets and their parts. Many German Rocket engineers were captured and eventually came to US or to Soviet Union. Both countries realized the potential of rocketry to be used as a powerful military weapon and focused on building more powerful and more advanced rockets.
First satellite launch into Earth orbit was on 4 October 1957 by the Soviet Union
The launch of Sputnik 1 into orbit – the first artificial satellite into orbit stunned the world. It started. It marked the beginning of the infamous Space Race between the Soviet Union and US. Only a month later the Soviet Union launched a satellite with a dog on board. The dog Laika survived for 7 days in space. Few months later, in January next year, US launched Explorer I into orbit. By October the same Year US created NASA with the aim to peacefully explore space for benefit of the human race.