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Rockets History


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Wan-Hu's Rocket Chair
Wan-Hu's Rocket Chair - History of Rockets

Wan-Hu's Rocket Chair

Public Domain; Coutesy of [link url=http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/TRC/Rockets/history_of_rockets.
NASA’s History of Rockets tells of an interesting old Chinese legend that reported the use of rockets as a means of transportation. With the help of many assistants, a lesser-known Chinese official named Wan-Hu assembled a rocket- powered flying chair. Attached to the chair were two large kites, and fixed to the kites were forty-seven fire-arrow rockets.

On the day of the flight, Wan-Hu sat himself on the chair and gave the command to light the rockets. Forty-seven rocket assistants, each armed with torches, rushed forward to light the fuses. In a moment, there was a tremendous roar accompanied by billowing clouds of smoke. When the smoke cleared, Wan-Hu and his flying chair were gone. No one knows for sure what happened to Wan-Hu, but it is probable that if the event really did take place, Wan-Hu and his chair were blown to pieces. Fire-arrows were as apt to explode as to fly.

Considering mankind’s basic war faring nature, it was, perhaps, inevitable when, around 800 years ago, someone decided to start using rockets in battle. Though a clever idea, the rocket was far from perfected at that time.

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