Apr 11

Space Rocket History #7 – Inter-service Rivalries

It’s important to understand that in the late 1940s within the United States there were three concurrent programs for military rocket development. This was due to continuing inter-service rivalry between the Army, Navy, and Air Force.

v2Wac Corporal

Bumper-WAC

270px-Hermes_A-1_Test_Rockets_-_GPN-2000-000063

A-1

Aerobee

Aerobee

WAC_Corporal

WAC Corporal

Viking

Viking

 

MX-774

MX-774

 

Apr 04

Space Rocket History #6 – The Competition

“The Americans have unified their forces into a single thrust, and make no secret of their plans to dominate outer space. But we keep our plans secret even to ourselves…”  Sergei Korolev the Founder of the Soviet Space Program.

Korolevr7cut

Mar 27

Space Rocket History #5 – Escaping the Reich

“In 1937, I was officially demanded to join the National Socialist Party. At this time I was already Technical Director at the Army Rocket Center at Peenemünde. The technical work carried out there had, in the meantime, attracted more and more attention in higher levels. Thus, my refusal to join the party would have meant that I would have to abandon the work of my life. Therefore, I decided to join. My membership in the party did not involve any political activity.”  Werner von Braun, 1947.

Peenemünde, Dornberger, Olbricht, Leeb, v. Braun

Werner von Braun at Peenedmunde

 

Mar 20

Space Rocket History #4 – Vengeance Weapons

“We are the first to have given a rocket a speed of 3,300 mph.  We have thus proved that it is quite possible to build piloted missiles or aircraft to fly at supersonic speeds.  We did it with automatic control. Our rocket today reached a height of nearly 60 miles.  We have invaded space; we have proved rocket propulsion practical for space travel.”  Walter Dornberger

V-2 Diagram

Mar 13

Space Rocket History #3 – Liquid-fueled Rockets

During the late 1920’s and throughout the 1930’s progress progress in rocket design was made in fits and starts with unclear goals.  However, many technological advances in liquid fueled rockets were made.   The United States Germany, Russia, France, Italy, and Great Britain all had rocket research programs.  The most significant advances occurred in Germany, the U.S. and Russia.  But, before we proceed with the history, I want to explain how a liquid fueled rocket works. liquid_fuel_rocket_diagram

Gird-07

Gird-07

Gird-09

Gird-09

Goddard 1935

Goddard 1935

Mirak

Mirak

Repulso and Von Braun

Repulsor and Von Braun

Mar 06

Space Rocket History #2 – Rocket Pioneers

Mankind has dreamed of traveling into space for centuries, but in the twentieth century, scientific and technical capabilities converged with this dream for the first time. The potential of the rocket was realized independently by three different men, born in different countries, who never met each other in person. These men Tsiolkovski of Russia, Goddard of the U.S. and Oberth of Germany, each derived the same conclusions about the future of space travel.  Their conclusions that become the basic working formulas of the space age.

Click the play button to listen to episode 2 of the Space Rocket History Podcast.

Goddard

Goddard

Tsiolkovsky

Tsiolkovsky

oberth

Oberth

Feb 13

Space Rocket History #1 – Ancient Rocketry: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

From our small world we have gazed upon the cosmic ocean for thousands of years. Ancient astronomers observed points of light that appeared to move among the stars. They called these objects planets, meaning wanderers, and named them after Roman deities — Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Venus, and Saturn, and Jupiter. The stargazers also observed comets with sparkling tails, and meteors or shooting stars apparently falling from the sky.

Often, the early rocket pioneers are lost in the shadows of time. The space rockets of today are the result of more than 2,000 years of invention, experimentation, and discovery. The foundations for modern rocketry were laid, first by observation and inspiration and then by methodical research. hero engine chinese soldier fire Arrows Torpedo Wan Hu