Houston Rockets Rocket Timeline

  • Jan 1, 1232

    Chinese Fire Arrows

    Chinese Fire Arrows
    Rockets were first used as actual weapons in the battle of Kai-fung-fu in 1232 A.D. The Chinese attempted to repel Mongol invaders with barrages of fire arrows. The fire-arrows were a simple form of a solid-propellant rocket. A tube, capped at one end, contained gunpowder. The other end was left open and the tube was attached to a long stick. When the powder was ignited, the rapid burning of the powder produced fire, smoke, and gas that escaped through
  • Jan 1, 1300

    Jonas de Fontana's Surface-Running Torpedos

    Jonas de Fontana's Surface-Running Torpedos
    I In France, Jean Froissart found that more accurate flights could be achieved by launching rockets through tubes. Froissart's idea was the forerunner of the modern bazooka. Joanes de Fontana of Italy designed a surface-running rocket-powered torpedo for setting enemy ships on fire.
  • Expiramenting with Rockets and Willem Gravesande's steam propelled cars

    Expiramenting with Rockets and Willem Gravesande's steam propelled cars
    About 1720, a Dutch professor, Willem Gravesande, built model cars that were propelled by jets of steam. At the same time, rocket experimenters in Germany and Russia began working with rockets of greater mass. Some of these rockets became so powerful that their escaping exhaust flames bored deep holes in the ground even before liftoff.
  • Colonel William Congreve

    Colonel William Congreve
    Colonel William Congreve studied captured Indian Rockets. His first invention was a rocket that was supposed to launch off of ships and destory enemy shorelines.
  • William Congreve's Rocket

    William Congreve's Rocket
    William Congreve created an incendiary rocket that used black powder, an iron case, and a 16-foot guide stick to guide it. The British used these rockets in 1806 to attack Napoleon's headquarters in France. In 1807, Congreve directed a rocket attack against Copenhagen; approximately 25,000 rockets were fired.
  • William Hale's Invention

    William Hale's Invention
    William Hale developed the stick-guiding rockets. America ended up using them in the Mexican-American War
  • Verne's Novel

    Verne's Novel
    Jules Verne wrote many books in his time. But, his most famous one, that had the most influence on space travel, was De la terre à la lune.
  • Konstantin Tsiolkovsky

    Konstantin Tsiolkovsky
    In 1898, a Russian schoolteacher, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky (1857-1935), proposed the idea of space exploration by rocket. In 1903, Tsiolkovsky published a report entitled Exploration of the Universe with Rocket Propelled Vehicles. In it, he suggested the use of liquid propellants for rockets in order to achieve greater range. Tsiolkovsky stated that the speed and range of a rocket were limited only by the exhaust velocity of escaping gases. For his ideas, careful research, and great vision, Tsiolk
  • Jules Verne

    Jules Verne
    Starting in the mid-19th century, the French writer and technical visionary Jules Verne (1828–1905) created modern science fiction and along with it the dream of space travel. Perhaps Verne's greatest influence on the development of space travel was his 1865 novel, De la terre à la lune (From the Earth to the Moon). In this fictional work, Verne gave his readers a somewhat credible account of a human voyage to the Moon. Verne's travelers are blasted on a journey around the Moon in a special holl
  • Hermann Oberth

    Hermann Oberth
    "Because that is the goal: To secure any place on which life can exist and prosper, give life to any dead world, and to give purpose to any living world," Hermann Oberth, "Men into Space," 1954. His works "The Rocket into Interplanetary Space" (1923), and "Ways to Travel in Space" (1929), established the scientific basis for space exploration. Oberth was the scientific consultant for the UFA-Film Co., which produced the first space movie of the world: "Women on the Moon.
  • Weapons

    Rockets came back into military use during World War II. They were fired from airplanes at other planes or at ground targets. The bazooka was widely used by United States infantry forces. As artillery, a barrage of rockets proved very effective. Trucks carried banks of rockets that could be fired one at a time or all at once. Rocket barrages were fired from ships to help "soften up" an enemy beach before assault. Large demolition rockets were launched from tanks against concrete barriers and tan
  • NASA

    Several projects have attempted to design a nuclear-powered spacecraft. The goal of the Orion Project of the 1950s was to build a vessel propelled by a series of atomic bombs. In the 1970s the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the United States government agency responsible for space exploration, attempted an equally ambitious plan called Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application (NERVA). Neither of these programs was successful.
  • Lockheed-Martin's Launch

    Lockheed-Martin's Launch
    Lockheed-Martin Company launched their Atlas V Medium Lift Vehicle on August 21, 2002. It placed a Eutelsat commercial payload to orbit.
  • The Boeing Company Accomplishment

    The Boeing Company Accomplishment
    The Boeing Company sent the first government of an EELV. It was a Delta IV rocket. It carried the DSCS A3 military communications satellite into orbit.
  • Infrared Telescope Facility

    Infrared Telescope Facility
    The Infrared Telescope Facility is part of NASA's Great Observatory Program. It was launched in 2003.