Technological Development Of Rocketry

4 April 2015
Examines the developments of modern rocketry, including the initial development of gunpowder and the works of Jules Verne. Concludes that it is impossible to determine the birth of any particular technology.


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It is said that some 55 years ago, a group of German scientists stood at Peenemunde to watch the launch of the world’s first successful ballistic missile. After the 14-meter long V-2 had soared 80 km up and 120 km downrange, Wehrmacht Major General Walter Dornberger turned to the project’s civilian technical director, Wernher Von Braun and said Do you realize what we accomplished today? Today the spaceship was born (Nelan, 1992, 35).

In a small sense, he was correct, but in a larger sense, he was dead wrong, wrong in assuming that any technological event is a birth of something new. Isaac Newton, founder of modern physics was once asked how he was able to come up with so many inventions. He is reported to have answered By standing on the …

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