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Who Invented The Rocket?

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The rocket, is arguably, one of the world’s most recognizable and greatest achievements. The rocket took the human race’s desire to visit space and made it a reality. We may take the invention for granted today because we witness rocket launching quite often, but when the rocket was first invented it was recognized as a major leap in invention. If you are interested in learning about the history of the rocket, and those involved in inventing it, read on for some interesting information and facts!

Robert Hutchings GoddardAmerican Father of Rocketry, Robert Hutchings Goddard.

The first to built one

Robert Goddard, an American professor, invented the first rocket. He did this on March 16th, 1926, in Auburn, Massachusetts. He used liquid-fueled rocket and it rose to an altitude of 41 feet in 2.5 seconds before crashing. Goddard continued his research in rocket and after 34 rocket launches, he finally hit an altitude of 1.6 miles (about 2.6 km) at speeds up to 550 miles per hour (about 885 km/h). In 1919, Goddard wrote a book, “A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes”.

Konstantin Eduardovich TsiolkovskyRussian Father of Rocketry, Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky.

The first paper on rockets

In 1903, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky published his work titled “The Exploration of Cosmic Space by Means of Reaction Devices”. However, Tsiolkovsky was a theorist and did most of his work in theory. He calculated the speed for multi-stage rocket, fueled with liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen, before it could reach space. In essence, Tsiolkovsky did all of the science and math of rockets but never actually built one.

Hermann Julius OberthGerman Father of Rocketry, Hermann Julius Oberth.

Hermann Oberth

In 1923, an Austro-Hungarian physicist named Hermann Oberth published a book titled “By Rocket into Interplanetary Space”. 6 years later he published “Ways to Spaceflight” and this made Hermann Oberth very popular in Europe. During the second world war, a rich Prussian aristocrat named Wernher von Braun was leading the German’s Army rocket team and Hermann Oberth was also part of the team. In 1942, the first ballistic missile, the V-2 was launch by the team.

R-7 and Sputnik

The war delayed further experimentation with rockets, and a lot of the research from German scientists was lost after Germany’s defeat. It wasn’t until after the war that other countries began to seriously work on rocket technology. During the 1950’s, America and the Soviet Union entered into the space race, and they tried to outdo each other in all areas of space exploration, including that of rocket technology.

The USSR made a head start

The USSR officially gained a head start when they successfully launched a rocket (they named the rocker “R-7”) in 1957. The rocket had Sputnik 1 attached to it, a satellite, so that they could confirm the rocket launch was complete, and so they could use to the satellite to send and track missiles. Not one scientist is associated with having created the rocket, but it is clear that the German, Russian, and American scientific communities were greatly involved in rocket creation.

Other propulsion technology: The jet engine invention.