Why Rockets?

  • Mark Denny
  • Alan McFadzean


Why indeed. Rockets were first employed over a thousand years ago as fireworks and as weapons of war, and latterly—for the past sixty years—as vehicles for getting payloads into space. As weapons of war, they were something of an adornment for most of their existence—they looked impressive but served little function, playing second fiddle to arrows and then artillery shells. Only in the last century have they emerged from the shadows as engines of megadeath (which did tend to grab people’s attention). But so what?

Reference Works

  1. Burrows, W.E. This New Ocean: The Story of the First Space Age. (New York: Random House, 1998).Google Scholar
  2. Plimpton, G. Fireworks: A History and Celebration. (New York: Doubleday, 1984).Google Scholar
  3. Werrett, S. Fireworks: Pyrotechnic Arts and Sciences in European History. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Denny
    • 1
  • Alan McFadzean
    • 2
  1. 1.VictoriaCanada
  2. 2.EdinburghUK

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