Why were rockets made?

For centuries, rockets have provided ceremonial and warfare uses starting with the ancient Chinese, the first to create rockets. The rocket apparently made its debut on the pages of history as a fire arrow used by the Chin Tartars in 1232 AD for fighting off a Mongol assault on Kai-feng-fu.

The lineage to the immensely larger rockets now used as space launch vehicles is unmistakable. But for centuries rockets were in the main rather small, and their use was confined principally to weaponry, the projection of lifelines in sea rescue, signaling, and fireworks displays. Not until the 20th century did a clear understanding of the principles of rockets emerge, and only then did the technology of large rockets begin to evolve.