Who invented the space rocket?

The first rocket which could fly high enough to claim the title "first space rocket" was invented by German scientists Werner Von BraunA and Walter Riedel.B

The rocket was called V2 but was part of a program from Nazi Germany to attack Britain during World War 2. The first V2 to reach space was launched by Von Braun's team on the 3rd of October 1942.C

Essential to the success of the rocket were three key technologies. These were the large liquid fuel rocket engines, supersonic aerodynamics, and guidance and control. This rocket could reach maximum speeds of 5760 Km/h or mach 4+.

American Scientist Robert Goddard created and launched the first liquid fueled rocket on March 16, 1926.D From 1930 to 1935 he launched rockets that attained speeds of up to 885 km/h (550 mph). Though his work in the field was revolutionary, he was sometimes ridiculed for his theories. He received little support during his lifetime, but would eventually be recognized as one of the fathers of modern rocketry.

Other important predecessors:

A Greek named Archytas (a few centuries BC) made small wooden devices that flew, propelled by a jet of steam. Some people point to this as the first rocket.

In the centuries CE (around 8th century) the Chinese invented fireworks that were rocket like. Later (12 to 14 century) they made more advanced designs. These devices were actually used for warfare.

Sources:

A Wernher von Braun: Wikipedia Entry

B Walter Riedel: Wikipedia Entry

C V-2: Wikipedia Entry

D Robert H. Goddard: Wikipedia Entry

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