Apr 13, 2014
Posted by Seb in categories: engineering, space travel
One night in the spring of 1914, what appeared to be an impossibly large comet whizzed through the skies over Innsbruck, the capital city of Tyrol in western Austria. It terrified the locals; it was too big and too low in the sky to be something as innocent and ordinary as an actual comet or a planet. It turned out to be something equally innocuous, however alien: a rocket-powered model airplane. Nineteen-year-old high school student Max Valier had launched his model with a firecracker as its engine. It was the first in a series of rocket-powered vehicles he would test in his short lifetime, all in the hope of eventually seeing rockets carry men into space.