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Inventors Timeline of Rockets
3,000 BCE - 1700 AD

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3,000 BCE - 1700 AD/1700 AD - 1850 AD/1850 AD - 1957/1957 AD - 1989
3000 BCE -
Babylonian astrologer-astronomers begin making methodical observations of the skies.
2000 BCE - Babylonians develop a zodiac.
1300 BCE - Chinese use of firework-rockets becomes widespread.
1000 BCE - Babylonians record sun/moon/planetary movements - Egyptians use sun-clock
600-400 BCE - Pythagoras of Samos sets up a school which rivals the Ionians. Parmenides of Elea, a student, proposes a spherical Earth made from condensed air and divided into five zones. He also sets forth ideas for stars being made of compressed fire and a finite, motionless, and spherical universe with illusory motion.
585  BC - Thales of Miletus, a Greek astronomer of the Ionian school, predicts the angular diameter of the sun. He also effectively predicts a solar eclipse, frightening Media and Lydia into negotiating for peace with the Greeks.
388-315 BC - Heraclides of Pontus explains the daily rotation of the stars by assuming that the Earth spins on its axis. He also discovers that Mercury and Venus revolve around the Sun instead of the Earth.
360  BC - Flying Pigeon of Archytas made.
310-230 BC - Aristarchus of Samos proposes that the Earth revolves around the Sun.
276-196 BC - Eratosthenes, a Greek astronomer, measures the circumference of the Earth. He also finds the differences between planets and stars and prepares a star catalog.
250  BC - Heron's aeolipile, which used steam power, was made.
150 BC - Hipparchus of Nicaea tries to measure the size of the sun and the moon. He also works on a theory to explain planetary motion and composes a star catalog with 850 entries.
46-120 AD - Plutarch sets forth in his De facie in orbe lunae (On the Face of the Moon's Disk) 70 AD, that the moon is a small Earth inhabited by intelligent beings. He also puts forth theories that lunar markings are due to defects in our eyes, reflections from the Earth, or deep ravines filled with water or dark air.
127-141 AD - Ptolomy publishes Almagest (aka Megiste Syntaxis-Great Collection), which states that the Earth is a central globe, with the universe revolving around it.
150 AD - Lucian of Samosata's True History is published, the first science fiction story about Moon voyages. He also later does Icaromenippus, another moon-voyage story.
800 AD - Baghdad becomes the astronomical study center of the world.
1010 AD - The Persian poet Firdaus publishes a 60,000-verse epic poem, Sh_h-N_ma, about cosmic travel.
1232 AD - Rockets ("arrows of flying fire") used at the siege of Kai-fung-fu.
1271 AD - Robert Anglicus attempts to document surface and weather conditions on planets.
1380 AD - T. Przypkowski studies rocketry.
1395-1405 AD - Konrad Kyeser von Eichstädt produces Bellifortis, describing many military rockets.
1405 AD - Von Eichstädt writes about sky-rockets.
1420 AD - Fontana designs various rockets.
1543 AD - Nicolaus Copernicus publishes De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Orbs), reviving Aristarchus' heliocentric theory.
1546-1601 AD - Tycho Brahe measures positions of stars and planets. Supports heliocentric theory.
1564-1642 AD - Galileo Galilei first uses the telescope to observe the skies. Discovers sunspots, four major satellites on Jupiter (1610), and Venus' phases. Defends Copernican theory in Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo (Dialogue of the Two Chief Systems of the World), 1632.
1571-1630 AD  - Johannes Kepler derives the three great laws of planetary motion: planetary orbits are ellipses with the sun as one focus of the directly related to its distance from the Sun. Findings were published in Astronomia nova (New Astronomy), 1609, and De harmonice mundi (On the Harmony of the World), 1619.
1591 AD - Von Schmidlap writes a book about non-military rockets. Proposes rockets stabilized by sticks and rockets mounted on rockets for extra power.
1608 AD - Telescopes invented.
1628 AD - Mao Yuan-I makes the Wu Pei Chih, describing gunpowder and rocket manufacture and use.

1634 AD - Posthumous publication of Kepler's Somnium (Dream), a science fiction entry defending heliocentrism.
1638 AD - Posthumous publication of Francis Goodwin's The Man in the Moon: or a Discourse of Voyage Thither, under the pseudonym Domingo Gonsales. It puts forth, after much fiction, the theory that the attraction from the Earth is greater than that from the moon Publication of John Wilkins' Discovery of a New World; or, a Discourse tending to prove, that 'tis probable there may be another Habitable World in that planet was, unlike Goodwin's story, based in fact. Sir Thomas Caresme develops an allegorical fireworks display.
1642-1727 AD  - Isaac Newton synthesizes recent astronomical discoveries through universal gravitation in his famed, Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy), 1687.
1649, 1652 AD - Cyrano's reference to "fire-crackers" in his novels, Voyage dans la Lune (Voyage to the Moon) and Histoire des États etc Empires du Soleil (History of the States and Empires of the Sun). Both contained the newest scientific theories, though fanciful.
1668 AD - Rocket experiments near Berlin by the German colonel, Christoph von Geissler.
1672 AD - Cassini, an Italian astronomer, predicts the distance between Earth and Sun to be 86,000,000 miles.
1686 AD - Bernard de Fontenelle's popular astronomy book, Entretiens sur la Pluralité des Mondes (Discourses on the Plurality of Worlds) published. Contained speculations about the habitability of the planets
1690 AD - Gabriel Daniel's Voiage du Monde de Descartes (Voyage to the World of Descartes) discusses the soul's separation from the body in order to go to the "Globe of the Moon".
1698 AD - Christian Huygens, renowned scientist, writes Cosmotheoros, or Conjectures Concerning the Planetary Worlds, a non-fictional premise on life on other planets.
Continue 1700 AD - 1850 AD
Information provided by NASA/Writer Michael Lew

This research has made use of the Astronomical Data Center (ADC) at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
html and additional information ©Mary Bellis
From Mary Bellis,
Your Guide to Inventors.
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