Fritz von Opel celebrates a run in his RAK-2 rocket car in Berlin on May 23, 1928. He had the original black-and-white image colorized.

A Century Before Elon Musk, There Was Fritz von Opel

With the Austrian visionary Max Valier, this German tycoon started the world’s first rocket program.

Historic rockets on display at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida (including, from left, variants of Atlas, Redstone, Thor, and Jupiter) can all trace their engine heritage to the propulsion research of George Sutton.

George Sutton, the (Other) Father of American Rocketry

Born 100 years ago, he left his mark on nearly every major launch vehicle of the 20th century.

Heinz-Hermann Koelle, holding a copy of Wernher von Braun's book The Mars Project, which Koelle helped to get published in Germany.

Hermann Koelle, the Most Important German Rocket Scientist You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

A key advisor to Wernher von Braun, he helped shape NASA’s space strategy during the agency’s golden age.

Launch of Viking 1, May 3, 1949.

The First Rocket Built for Space

It isn’t what you think it was.

Robert Goddard around 1936, when he first published the results of his pioneering liquid-fuel rocket experiments.

Robert Goddard Was the Father of American Rocketry. But Did He Have Much Impact?

Questioning a pioneer’s legacy.

The Caltech rocket group engineered the first American rocket-assisted takeoff, of a light Ercoupe airplane, in 1941.

How the “Suicide Squad” Turned Into One of the World’s First Rocket Companies

Aerojet celebrates its 75th anniversary.

This self-portrait of Jimmy Wyld was taken at Elmira, New York in July 1937, a few months after he had started developing his revolutionary new rocket motor.

Jimmy Wyld, the Young Genius Who Jump-Started the U.S. Rocket Business

Seventy-five years ago, a bunch of amateur rocketeers from New Jersey started a small company with a big future.

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The Misunderstood Professor

When he suggested in a 1920 treatise that rockets could reach the moon, Robert Goddard sparked a public frenzy.

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