The Complete Book of Outer Space – Part 6 of 14

History of the Rocket Engine

A few days late, but here is a lengthy (in the context of this publication), dry but nevertheless interesting article with many pictures about the development of the rocket engine.  Some basic history here as well as a little speculation at the end.  The author was one of the co-founders and, as he points out in the article, one of the principle investors in Reaction Motors Inc., the very first company of it’s kind in the US.

Something I learned from this is that there were people who have legitimate claims to be the first to operate a successful rocket motor prior to Dr. Robert H. Goddard.  One Pedro Paulet is reputed to be the first in 1895, but unfortunately his work couldn’t be satisfactorily verified.

Brief but interesting are his comments at the end regarding the future of the rocket and where mankind will take this technology.  Worth reading and reflecting upon.  Enjoy.

View this document on Scribd

In a couple of weeks we’ll have a look at the Legal Aspects of Space Travel, by Oscar Schachter.  Quite a prominent figure in international law by all accounts, you can find his obituary from 2003 at the NY Times here.

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