Rocket (Space Travel) - History of Rocket (Space Travel)
Throughout history humans have always dreamed of crossing the final frontier, and going where others have only dreamed of visiting. Space continues to excite the mind and curiosity of explorers throughout the world. However, without the invention of rockets for space travel, these desires would never have be met.
Although rockets had been used as missiles, and even as toys before the 19th century, the first mathematical proposal for a rocket in space came in 1903. It was in this year that Russian Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky published an equation for the rocket's speed and mass, which would allow for the first space rockets to be built.
For the next fifty years, rocket prototypes that could be propelled upwards were created in numerous countries throughout the world. However, none of these were able to cross the atmosphere into space. It wasn't until the space race of the 1960s before the first rocket traversed that barrier and was projected past the Earth's sky.
The purpose of rockets, however, wasn't just to prove they could be shot into space; rockets needed to be able to take things with them. This feat was accomplished first by the Sputnik mission on October 4th, 1957, when the rocket was able to send a Soviet satellite into orbit. The United States followed soon after on February 1st, 1958.
Quickly, experiments with living models, including plants and animals began being sent into space to determine if it was safe for a human to cross Earth's atmosphere. On April 12, 1961 Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space, being launched by a Russian rocket.
Having conquered the ability to reach space, the next target was the moon. Continued development of the rocket allowed for the accomplishment on this feat. The Saturn V rocket finally allowed for breaking away from Earth's gravity, and was responsible for carrying out six moon landing missions in the 1960s and 70s.
Today, advancements in rocket technology have changed the fuel source, from a liquid fuel of the past, to a solid rocket of modern times. Although these rockets haven't yet landed someone on Mars, scientists are striving every day to make this next challenge possible.