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C O U R S E 
From Goddard to Apollo: The History of Rockets
Burton Dicht, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
Fireworks and Rocket Inventions in Ancient History
Notes taken on May 17, 2016 by Edward Tanguay
Archytas (428–347 BC) [ar-KEE-tus]
Greek philosopher, mathematician, and astronomer
friend of Plato
was reported to have constructed and flown the first self-propelled flying device
we don't have illustrations of this device
described as a small bird-shaped device
may have been suspended by a wire
using a jet of steam, this device was propelled through the air
this demonstrated the concept of reactive propulsion
The Hero Engine
Hero of Alexandria (65-125 AD)
first device to transform steam into rotary motion
a hollow sphere placed on top of a vessel of heated water
the water in the vessel travels up two tubes which led to a sphere which was free to rotate on a shaft
two L-shaped nozzles which were attached to the sphere and pointed tangentially
as steam flowed through the tubes and out the nozzles, it caused the sphere to rotate
nobody understood that this was an early reaction steam turbine
it was considered to be a toy
Hero went on to publish books in geometry, mechanics and pneumatics (engineering that makes use of gas or pressurized air)
ca. 100 AD Chinese developed simple form of gun powder
made of saltpeter, sulfur and charcoal dust
when ignited produced colorful sparks and smoke
use as fireworks for religious and festive events
experimented with filling bamboo tubes with gunpowder
attached to arrows and launched with bows
the first solid rocket
first reported use was in a conflict in 1232 with the Mongols
would fire 100 at once
didn't make many improvements over the centuries
but use of these rockets spread to India and Europe