Rocketry Time Line
When the first true rockets appeared is unclear. Stories of early devices appear through the historical records of various cultures.

Time Line



The Chinese began experimenting with a simple form of gunpowder made from saltpetre, sulphur, and charcoal dust. Which they packed into bamboo tubes.


The first reported use of rockets, at the battle of Kai-Keng,  the Chinese beat back invaders with solid-propellant rocket arrows. The Mongol invaders referred to them as “arrows of flying fire”

13-15 Centuries AD

There were reports of many more rocket experiments.
In England, Roger Bacon a monk refined the composition of gunpowder which greatly increased the range of rockets.
In France, Jean Froissart experimented with launching rockets through tubes which he concluded improved the accuracy of rockets. Froissart's idea was an early version of the bazooka or RPG.

16th Century

By this time rockets were looked upon as crude and dangerous so fell into disuse as weapons of war.
In German, Johann Schmidlap (fireworks maker), invented rocket staging for lifting fireworks to higher altitudes. He called it The "step rocket," a large rocket (first stage) carrying a smaller rocket (second stage).

17th Century

The scientific foundations for modern rocketry were laid.
In England scientist Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727). Developed the three laws of motion. The laws explain how rockets work and why they are able to work in the vacuum of outer space.
In Germany and Russia Rocket experimenters began working with rockets with a mass of more than 45 kilograms. Some of these rockets blew holes into the ground; there motor developed that much thrust.

18th century

During the end of the 18th century and early into the 19th, rockets experienced a brief revival as a weapon of war.
In 1792 and again in 1799. India used rocket barrages against the British to good effect and this caught the interest of Colonel William Congreve an artillery expert, he then set out to design rockets for use by the British military.
In 1812 the Congreve rockets were used by British ships to pound Fort McHenry. They inspired Francis Scott Key to write "the rockets' red glare," words in his poem that later became The Star- Spangled Banner.
William Hale An Englishman developed a technique called spin stabilization. He used part of the rocket motors thrust to spin the rocket by striking small vanes at the bottom of the rocket. Variations of the principle are still used today.
Rockets were used with success in battles all over the Europe. However, Once again, rockets were relegated to peacetime use, when Breech-loading cannons with rifled barrels and exploding warheads were developed these were far more effective and had greater accuracy than the rockets.

More to come. ;)