Encyclopedia Astronautica
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1899 and earlier Chronology

1054 July 4 - .
  • The Crab Nebula Supernova - . Nation: China.

1181 August 4 - .
  • Discovery of supernova Cassiopia - .

1571 December 27 - .
  • Birth of Johannes Kepler - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Kepler. German scientist. Astronomer who derived the laws of planetary motion..

1572 November 11 - .
  • Tycho Brahe's observes Supernova 1572 - . Nation: Germany.

1604 October 9 - .
  • Supernova 1604 (Kepler's Nova) - . Nation: Germany.

1610 January 7 - .
  • Galileo Galilei's Discovery of Jupiter Moons Io, Europa and Callisto - . Nation: Italy.

1610 January 11 - .
  • Galileo Galilei's Discovery of Jupiter Moon Ganymede - . Nation: Italy.

1610 July 30 - .
  • Galileo Observes Saturn's Rings - . Nation: Italy.

1630 November 15 - .
  • Death of Johannes Kepler - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Kepler, Johnnes. German scientist. Astronomer who derived the laws of planetary motion..

1655 March 25 - .
  • Christiaan Huygens' Discovery of Saturn Moon Titan - . Nation: Netherlands.

1670 June 20 - .
  • Nova 1670 Vulpeculae - . Nation: France.

1671 October 25 - .
  • Giovanni Cassini's Discovery of Saturn Moon Iapetus - . Nation: Italy.

1672 December 23 - .
  • Giovanni Cassini's Discovery of Saturn Moon Rhea - . Nation: Italy.

1675 June 22 - .
  • Royal Greenwich Observatory founded. - . Nation: UK.

1687 July 6 - .
  • Isaac Newton's Principia Published - . Nation: UK.

1781 March 13 - .
  • William Herschel's Discovery of Uranus - . Nation: UK.

1787 January 11 - .
  • William Herschel's Discovery of Uranus Moons Titania and Oberon - . Nation: UK.

1789 August 28 - .
  • William Herschel's Discovery of Saturn Moon Enceladus - . Nation: UK.

1789 September 17 - .
  • William Herschel's Discovery of Saturn Moon Mimas - . Nation: UK.

1801 January 1 - .
  • Guiseppe Piazzi's Discovery of the First Asteroid (Ceres) - . Nation: Italy.

1802 March 28 - .
  • Wilhelm Olbers' Discovery of Asteroid 2 Pallas - . Nation: Germany.

1804 September 2 - .
  • Karl Harding's Discovery of Asteroid 3 Juno - . Nation: Germany.

1807 March 29 - .
  • Wilhelm Olbers' Discovery of Asteroid 4 Vesta - . Nation: Germany.

1815 October 3 - .
  • Chassigny Meteorite Fall (Mars Meteorite) - . Nation: France.

1820 January 12 - .
  • Royal Astronomical Society founded. - . Nation: UK.

1840 January 19 - .
  • Discovery of Antarctica - . Nation: UK.

1846 September 23 - .
  • Johann Galle's Discovery of Neptune - . Nation: Germany.

1846 October 10 - .
  • William Lassell's Discovery of Neptune Moon Triton - . Nation: UK.

1848 September 19 - .
  • William and George Bond's Discovery of Saturn Moon Hyperion - . Nation: UK.

1851 October 24 - .
  • William Lassell's Discovery of Uranus Moons Umbriel and Ariel - . Nation: UK.

1865 - . LV Family: Jules Verne Moon Gun. Launch Vehicle: Jules Verne Moon Gun.
  • Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon - . Nation: France.

    This was a seminal work that inspired most of the original rocket pioneers. Verne used real engineering analysis to arrive at the design of his cannon and manned moon projectible. As a result, at the time of the Apollo 8 and 11 missions it was noted that Verne had made a number of correct predictions about the actual missions....


1877 August 17 - .
  • Asaph Hall's Discovery of Phobos (Mars Moon) - . Nation: USA.

1879 - .
  • Tsiolkovskiy's Astronomical Drawings - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Tsiolkovskiy. While living in Ryazan with his father's family, he published his first known scientific work. It schematically depicted the Solar System and the distances between planets..

1879 December 21 - .
  • Birth of losif Vissarionovich Stalin - . Nation: Georgia, Russia. Related Persons: Stalin. Georgian-Russian politician. Leader of the Soviet Union, 1924-1953..

1880 March 18 - .
  • Birth of Walter Hohmann - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Hohmann. German architect who became interested in interplanetary spaceflight, defined the minimum energy transfer orbit which bears his name in 1916. Rocket enthusiast with VfR but broke off contact after military took over development..

1882 October 5 - .
  • Robert Goddard is born. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Goddard. The future rocket pioneer is born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, to an old New England family. Goddard's father is an inventor and travelling salesman..

1883 - .
  • Tsiolkovskiy's Free Space - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Tsiolkovskiy.

    Tsiolkovsky considered the possibility of living in outer space and the effects of zero gravity. For the first time he included a drawing of a spacecraft that could orient itself in space with the help of reactive jets (but not change its position by propulsive rockets).


1885 May 8 - .
  • Birth of Phillip Von Doepp - . Nation: Germany, Russia. Related Persons: Von Doepp. Russian-German expert in guided missile aero design during WW2. Fluent in Russian. Member of the German rocket team, arrived in America under Project Paperclip on 1945.11.16. Worked at Wright Field and in California aerospace..

1886 June 25 - .
  • Birth of Henry H 'Hap' Arnold - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Arnold. American officer. Commander of the Army Air Forces in WW2.

1886 August 26 - .
  • Birth of Jerome C Hunsaker - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Hunsaker. American engineer. Organized and headed department of aeronautical engineering at MIT, 1939-1951. Influentical, and discouraged development of jet and rocket propulsion in the US before 1945..

1888 November 10 - .
  • Birth of Andrei Nikolayevich Tupolev - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Tupolev. Russian chief designer. Chief Designer and General Designer 1943-1972 of OKB-156..

1890 March 11 - .
  • Birth of Vannevar Bush - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Bush, Vannevar. American engineer, primary scientific adviser to Roosevelt and Truman, immensely influential in plans for nuclear weapons, missiles, aviation, and advanced propulsion 1939-1949. Discouraged early development of the ICBM..

1890 March 29 - .
  • Birth of Arthur Harry Rude - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Rude. American manager. Vice-President of Aerojet, 1944-1966..

1890 July 18 - .
  • Birth of Charles Erwin 'Engine Charlie' Wilson - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Wilson, Charles Erwin. American Manager, Eisenhower's Secretary of Defense 1953-1957, an ardent opponent of spaceflight. He had previously run GM, where he coined the phrase "What's good for General Motors is good for the country"..

1890 October 14 - .
  • Birth of Dwight David Eisenhower - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Eisenhower. President of the United States, 1953-1961; began development of Jupiter, Thor, Atlas, Titan, Polaris, and Minuteman - the foundation of US access to space. His distrust of of the military led him to create NASA to handle space programs..

1892 September 9 - .
  • Edward Barnard's Discovery of Jupiter Moon Amalthea - . Nation: USA.

1892 October 26 - .
  • Birth of Otto Friedrich Schaper - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Schaper. German expert in guided missiles during World War II. Arrived in America under Project Paperclip on 1945.11.16 aboard the Argentina. Worked at Port Washington, Long Island, New York, USA, until his death in 1967..

1893 December 17 - .
  • Birth of Bernhard Gerhardt - . Nation: Germany, Russia. Related Persons: Gerhardt. German engineer, member of Rocket Team in the Soviet Union after WW2. Kept there until 1957, the longest of any of the team members..

1894 March 21 - .
  • Birth of Rudolf Nebel - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Nebel. German rocket enthusiast. Worked for Oberth; helped found VfR; built largest prewar German test rockets. Work shut down by government in 1934. Did not work on rockets during WW2. Promoted civilian rebirth of German rocketry in 1950's..

1894 April 5 - .
  • Birth of Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Khrushchev. Russian politician. Leader of the USSR from 1956 to 1964..

1894 June 1 - .
  • Birth of Anatoli Arkadyevich Blagonravov - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Blagonravov. Russian scientist. President, Academy Artillery Sciences 1946-1950, leading development of first Soviet sounding rockets. Soviet representative to UN COPUOS and negotiator with NASA on cooperative space projects in early 1960's..

1894 June 25 - .
  • Birth of Hermann Julius Oberth - . Nation: Germany, Romania. Related Persons: Oberth. Father of German Spaceflight. His 1923 book outlined the mathematic principles of rocketry and space travel, providing the basis for the space craze in Germany, leading to the V-2 and von Braun's rocket team..

1895 February 9 - .
  • Birth of Max Valier - . Nation: Germany, Italy. Related Persons: Valier. German Austrian engineer and early advocate of the use of rockets for flight. Opel supported Valier's rocket car tests as publicity. Valier died in a rocket motor explosion in 1931..

1895 May 8 - .
  • Birth of James H 'Dutch' Kindelberger - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kindelberger. President, North American Aviation, 1934-1948; Chairman, CEO 1948-1960. Under his leadership NAA became the leading US supplier of fighters (P-51, F-86, F-100), high speed craft (Navaho, X-15, B-70), inertial navigation, and rocket engines..

1895 June 11 - .
  • Birth of Nikolai Aleksandrovich Bulganin - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Bulganin. Russian Minister of Defense 1947-1949 and 1953-1955. Chaired Special Committee 2 1947-1949. Chairman of the Soviet Council of Ministers, and heavily involved in the negotiations over freedom of space issue for overflight of territories..

1895 August 20 - .
  • Birth of Henry J E Reid - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Reid. American engineer, at NASA 1921-1961, designed basic instruments for flight research..

1895 August 21 - .
  • Birth of Aleksandr Pavlovich Vinogradov - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Vinogradov, Aleksandr. Russian scientist. Director of Institute of Chemical and Analytical Chemistry. Specialised in lunar sample analysis..

1896 January 19 - .
  • Birth of Smith J DeFrance - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: DeFrance. American engineer. Designer and director of research for wind tunnels at Langley, 1922-1940, and Ames, 1940-1965. His work in the 1950's established blunt-body shapes for re-entry vehicles..

1896 March 1 - .
  • Birth of Dan Able Kimball - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kimball. American businessman, Vice President of Sales at General Tire, before becoming Head of Aerojet, 1944-1969, transforming it from an undisciplined group of rocket enthusiasts to the second largest US rocket engine manufacturer..

1896 December 1 - .
  • Birth of Georgiy Konstantinovich Zhukov - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Zhukov. Russian officer. Minister of Defence 1955-1957..

1896 December 14 - .
  • Birth of James H Doolittle - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Doolittle. American officer. Noted aviator 1917-1940, led one-way raid on Tokyo in 1942. Post-WW2 through to Sputnik served on scientific advisory boards that shaped US space policy..

1897 February 15 - .
  • Birth of Earl Henry 'Red' Blaik - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Blaik. American businessman. Vice president and director of Avco, 1959-60, then director and chairman of executive committee in 1960..

1897 May 29 - .
  • Birth of Johannes Winkler - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Winkler. German engineer. Rocket enthusiast, launched first liquid rocket in Europe on 1931.02.21..

1897 August 13 - .
  • Birth of Detlev W Bronk - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Bronk. American scientist, president of the National Academy of Sciences, 1950-1962, and a member of the National Aeronautics and Space Council. President of Johns Hopkins University, 1949-1953, and Rockefeller University, 1953-1968..

1897 October 11 - .
  • Birth of Cai Qiao - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Cai Qiao. Chinese Biologist. Cai Qiao was Vice President of the Military Medical Sciences Academy of the People's Liberation Army. In April 1966 he was one of three senior scientists that laid out the plans for China's first manned spacecraft..

1897 October 11 - .
  • Birth of Nathan F Twining - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Twining. American USAF officer, chief of staff from 1953 and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff 1957-1960. During this period key decisions were made regarding ICBM, manned spacecraft, and military satellite development..

1897 October 21 - .
  • Yerkes Observatory founded. - . Nation: USA.

1898 January 8 - .
  • Birth of Ludwig Leihfeld - . Nation: Germany, Russia. Related Persons: Leihfeld. German engineer in WW2, member of the Rocket Team in the Soviet Union, worked on rocket engine development in Glushko's design bureau from 1947 to 1952. Worked in Oxygen Plant; Dept. 61/ Laboratory..

1898 November 9 - .
  • Birth of Hugo Broetler - . Nation: Germany, Russia. Related Persons: Broetler. German welding engineer in WW2, member of the Rocket Team in the Soviet Union, worked on rocket engine development in Glushko's design bureau from 1947 to 1952. Worked in Oxygen Plant; Shop 55..

1898 November 23 - .
  • Birth of Rodion Yakovlevich Malinovskiy - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Malinovskiy. Russian officer. Minister of Defence 1957-1967. Opponent of piloted space programs..

1898 November 25 - .
  • Birth of Floyd L Thompson - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Thompson, Floyd. American engineer, at NASA 1927-1968, chief of flight research and then headed Langley..

1899 January 1 - .
  • Birth of Robert Tschechner - . Nation: Germany, Russia. Related Persons: Tschechner. German specialist engineer in WW2, member of the Rocket Team in the Soviet Union, worked on rocket engine development in Glushko's design bureau from 1947 to 1952. Worked in Manufacture; Laboratory Department..

1899 March 29 - .
  • Birth of Lavrenti Pavlovich Beria - . Nation: Georgia, Russia. Related Persons: Beria. Georgian-Russian officer. Soviet security apparatus chief until toppled after death of Stalin 1953. In charge of Soviet development of nuclear weapons and rocketry, 1944-1953..

1899 April 1 - .
  • Birth of James S McDonnell - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: McDonnell. American engineer, president of McDonnell Aircraft 1939-1972. His innovative fighter designs were initially unsuccessful, but the F-4 and F-15 were the premier US fighters after 1960. Contractor for the Mercury, Gemini , and MOL spacecraft..

1899 May 4 - .
  • Birth of Fritz von Opel - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Opel. German automobile manufacturer and rocketry enthusiast. Grandson of founder of Opel, after graduation, put in charge of testing and publicity. Funded Valier's tests of rocket engines in ground and air vehicles..

1899 September 6 - .
  • American Astronomical Society founded - . Nation: USA.

1899 September 9 - .
  • Birth of Aleksandr Nikolayevich Nesmeyanov - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Nesmeyanov. Russian scientist. President of the Academy of Sciences 1951-1961. Approved the first satellite project..

1899 October 19 - .
  • Goddard's dream. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Goddard.

    Goddard's imagination and inventiveness is encouraged by his father, who gives him a telescope, microscope, and subscription to Scientific American. He is constantly tinkering, trying to work aluminium, build a rigid-skin balloon. Illness prevents him from attending classes, so he becomes self-educated. Uniquely among rocket pioneers he is inspired by H G Wells' War of the Worlds rather than the works of Jules Verne. On this date, while climbing a cherry tree, the ten year old had a vision. He saw a huge flying machine, propelled by whirling unequal horizontal centrifugal devices, rising from a pit, heading for Mars. Although he would give up working on a 'perpetual motion' device of this type for several years, he abandoned the idea when he discovered Newton's laws of motion.


1899 November 3 - .
  • Birth of Herbert Felix Axster - . Nation: Germany, USA. Related Persons: Axster. German engineer in WW2, member of the Rocket Team in the United States thereafter..


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