The history of Rocketry goes far beyond the early 1900's. The earliest occurrence of rocket was is early China, thousands of years ago. Until this century, rockets have been used almost exclusively for war and fireworks. These ancestors of the modern missile were usually inaccurate, but they were dangerous and had good range. In the nineteenth century, most countries developed and used rockets in their militaries. The British used rockets fired from ships in the war of 1812, which the American Star Spangled Banner immortalized in the words "rocket's red glare".
It was not until around the beginning of the century that people began to realize more peaceful uses for this technology. Three different men independently discovered the potential of rockets to reach space.
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