Beginning of Modern Rocketry
Modern history of rockets began in 1898, when a Russian
schoolteacher, Konstatin Tsiolovsky (1857-1935), proposed the
exploration of space by rocket. In 1903, he suggested that the
use of liquid propellants would help make the rocket achieve
greater range. He also said that the speed and range of a
rocket were bound by the amount of escape velocity of the
escaping gas. After Tsiolovsky’s great vision and ideas, he
is now considered the father of modern astronautics.
Early in the 20th century, an American,
Robert H. Goddard (1882-1945), conducted practical experiments
in rocketry. With these experiments he found a greater
interest in achieving higher altitudes for rockets, and
proposed that it was possible with lighter-than-air balloons.
While he was working with solid-propelled rockets, he
discovered that it would help make the rocket fly farther if
the rocket were powered by a liquid-propellant. In his time,
it was extremely difficult because items such as fuel and
oxygen tanks, turbines, and combustion chambers were needed.
However, he successfully tested the first liquid-propellant
rocket on March 16, 1926.
A third space pioneer, Herman Oberth (1894-1989) of
Germany, had published a book in 1923 about rocket travel in
outer space. It was extremely important because with his
publishing countless small rocket societies sprang up around
Germany. In 1937, in Peenemunde, German scientists and
engineers, including Oberth, would assemble and fly the most
advanced rockets of the time, all under the leadership of
Wernher von Braun. It was here where the V-2 rocket was
invented. These rockets were fired at London, but introduced
too late in World War II to make any differences.
History & Theory.
28 Mar. 2003 http://www.wsmr.army.mil/paopage/Pages/rkhist.htm.
Calvin J. 'A Brief History of Rocketry'. 2001. 27
Mar. 2003 http://www.solarviews.com/eng/rocket.htm