The history of rocketry involves much more than merely the progress of a technology. Yes, it illustrates once again how conflicts between nations--wars both hot and cold--accelerate the development of new technologies. But it also demonstrates a nobler aspect of human progress: the continuing expansion of humanity's boundaries, physically, spiritually, and cognitively. Thus, there is much to learn about the many sides of our complex cultural makeup, through a multi-dimensional examination of the history of this representative technology.

This expanded time-line is not intended to be definitive in any particular aspect, but is a humble attempt to establish a chronological overview of this important history. It is a history that encompasses triumph and tragedy, both dreams and nightmares. In the event, it will be a matter of resolve alone that will determine whether we use this technology, either to initiate the nightmare of nuclear war, or to advance the dream of expanding mankind's boundaries beyond the sphere of our origins. While there have been limited steps toward both extremes, the full potential of either--good or bad--has yet to be realized.

The crucial question for the future is whether we will ultimately destroy ourselves through a nuclear conflagration, or whether we will enhance the likelihood for the survival of our species, by expanding our habitat beyond this single planetary address. As things stand now, all of mankind's eggs are contained within this one basket, the planet Earth. Will we drop the basket and break all our eggs, or hatch, mature, and take wing to alternate nesting areas? In either case, rockets are likely to be the means we use to realize these respective ends.

This time-line is presented in three chapters, the titles of which are self-explanatory as to content. While the language used is non-technical, there are many links to articles that provide a deeper background of certain cultural, political, and scientific topics, especially the various science-fact articles by the great science writer Willy Ley. They are well worth perusing.

I'd like to express my thanks to Copy Editor and Historian Levi Bookin, whose work editing my uneven prose has been instrumental in whatever degree of readability the finished product has attained. However, I take full responsibility for the content of the time-line and of any errors one may encounter. Further, I encourage one and all to join the Yahoo! Group linked below. You are sure find me there, ready and willing to interact with anyone desiring to offer any corrections, comments, criticisms, or questions relating to this compilation. I hope to see you there. -- Walter J. Loepp, 2010

Chapter One: Origins of Rocketry

Chapter Two: Hitler's Deception

Chapter Three: Race For Space


What does it take for Americans to do great things; to go to the moon, to win wars, to dig canals linking oceans, to build railroads across a continent? In independent thought about this question, Neil Armstrong and I concluded that it takes a coincidence of four conditions, or in Neil's view, the simultaneous peaking of four of the many cycles of American life. First, a base of technology must exist from which to do the thing to be done. Second, a period of national uneasiness about America's place in the scheme of human activities must exist. Third, some catalytic event must occur that focuses the national attention upon the direction to proceed. Finally, an articulate and wise leader must sense these first three conditions and put forth with words and action the great thing to be accomplished. The motivation of young Americans to do what needs to be done flows from such a coincidence of conditions . . . . The Thomas Jeffersons, The Teddy Roosevelts, The John Kennedys appear. We must begin to create the tools of leadership which they, and thier young frontiersmen, will require to lead us onward and upward. -Dr. Harrison H. Schmidt.
Featured Sites:
 
Austria: The Other Germany
Adolf Hitler: The First Super-Villian
Third Reich History: What Happened Today?
Countdown to Infamy: Timeline to Pearl Harbor
Biographical Timeline: of the Infamous Adolf Hitler
Countdown To WW2: August 22 - September 1, 1939
The Nuremberg Nazis: Detailed, Documented Biographies
Wunderwaffen: Hitler's Deception and the History of Rocketry
 
Main Sites:

Adolf Hitler: The Volkswagen
Adolf Hitler: The Fuehrer's Mercedes
Adolf Hitler: Mein Kampf Examined
In the Shadow of Frederick the Great
Hitler's Battleship: Sink The Bismarck!
Non-Fiction Comics: Military Periodicals
History of Olympic Boycotts: From Berlin to Beijing
Hogan's Jews: 5 Cast Members Were Jews; Their Stories

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