Timeline of rocket and missile technology

This article gives a concise timeline of rocket and missile technology.

A depiction of the "long serpent" rocket launcher from the 11th century book Wujing Zongyao. The holes in the frame are designed to keep the fire arrows separate.

11th century

17th century-19th century

  • 1633 - Lagâri Hasan Çelebi launched a 7-winged rocket using 50 okka (140 lbs) of gunpowder from Sarayburnu, the point below Topkapı Palace in Istanbul.[1]
  • 1650 - Artis Magnae Artilleriae pars prima ("Great Art of Artillery, the First Part") is printed in Amsterdam, about a year before the death of its author, Kazimierz Siemienowicz.
  • 1664 - A "space rocket" is imagined as a future technology to be studied in France and its drawing is ordered by French finance minister Colbert; designed by Le Brun on a Gobelins tapestry[2] (see: French space program)
  • 1798 - Tipu Sultan, the King of the state of Mysore in India, develops and uses iron rockets against the British Army (see Mysorean rockets).
  • 1801 - The British Army develops the Congreve rocket based on weapons used against them by Tipu Sultan.
  • 1806 - Claude Ruggieri, an Italian living in France, launched animals on rockets and recovered them using parachutes. He was prevented from launching a child by police.[3]
  • 1813 - "A Treatise on the Motion of Rockets" by William Moore – first appearance of the rocket equation
  • 1818 - Henry Trengrouse demonstrates his rocket apparatus for projecting a lifeline from a wrecked ship to the shore, later widely adopted
  • 1844 - William Hale invents the spin-stabilized rocket
  • 1861 - William Leitch publishes an essay "A Journey Through Space" (later published in his book God's Glory in the Heavens (1862)) as a humorous science fantasy story about a space gun launching a manned spacecraft equipped with rockets for landing on the Moon, but eventually used for another orbital maneuver.

20th century

21st century


  1. Winter, Frank H. (1992). "Who First Flew in a Rocket?", Journal of the British Interplanetary Society 45 (July 1992), p. 275-80
  2. Jean Cheymol. "Astronautique" (PDF). Biusante.parisdescartes.fr. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2019-04-26. Retrieved 2017-08-11.
  3. "MSFC History OFFICE: CLAUDE RUGGIERI". History.msfc.nasa.gov. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
  4. "Considerations sur les resultats d'un allegement indefini des moteurs", Journal de physique theorique et appliquee, Paris, 1913
  5. Guttman, Jon (2005). Balloon-busting aces of World War 1. Osprey aircraft of the aces 66. Oxford, UK: Osprey. p. 12. ISBN 978-1841768779.
  6. "Goddard launches space age with historic first 85 years ago today". Retrieved 2019-07-28.
  7. "space exploration | History, Definition, & Facts". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2019-07-06.
  8. "Sommaire chronologie Ariane". Capcomespace.net. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  9. Garmon, Jay. "Geek Trivia: A leap of fakes". TechRepublic. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  10. "Salkeld Shuttle". Astronautix.com. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
  11. "ROBERT SALKELD'S". Pmview.com. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
  12. "STS-1 Further Reading". History.nasa.gov. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
  13. https://presse.cnes.fr/en/cnes-celebrates-diamants-50th-anniversary-origins-frances-independence-space
  14. https://www.esa.int/About_Us/ESA_history/History_of_Europe_in_space
  15. https://www.arianespace.com/company-milestones/decades/1970/
  16. https://www.arianespace.com/company-milestones/decades/1980/#timeline-year-1980
  17. https://www.arianespace.com/company-milestones/decades/1980/#timeline-year-1988
  18. https://videotheque.cnes.fr/index.php?urlaction=doc&id_doc=16001&rang=1
  19. "First Space Tourist Dennis Tito to Make Business Visit to Russia". redOrbit. June 15, 2004. Archived from the original on November 27, 2010. Retrieved February 27, 2013.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  20. "SpaceShipOne Flight Tests". Scaled Composites. Archived from the original on 2010-08-22.
  21. Clark, Stephen (2008-09-28). "Sweet Success at Last for Falcon 1 Rocket". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 2014-11-30. the first privately developed liquid-fueled rocket to successfully reach orbit.
  22. Clark, Stephen (25 May 2012). "First commercial cargo ship arrives at space station". Spaceflight Now. Archived from the original on 29 May 2012. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
  23. Belfiore, Michael (April 22, 2014). "SpaceX Brings a Booster Safely Back to Earth". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
  24. Orwig, Jessica (2014-11-25). "Elon Musk Just Unveiled A Game-Changing Ocean Landing Pad For His Reusable Rockets". Business Insider. Retrieved 2014-12-11. The first successful "soft landing" of a Falcon 9 rocket happened in April of this year
  25. Jeff Foust (December 21, 2015). "Falcon 9 Launches Orbcomm Satellites, Lands First Stage". SpaceNews. Retrieved 2015-12-22. the first time SpaceX had successfully landed the rocket's first stage.
  26. "SpaceX demonstrates rocket reusability with SES-10 launch and booster landing". Spacenews.com. 30 March 2017. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  27. Grush, Loren (24 January 2018). "Rocket Lab secretly launched a disco ball satellite on its latest test flight". The Verge. Retrieved 24 January 2018.