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The ancient Chinese had once fastened a myriad of small rockets to a wooden chair, where they positioned their emperor. And in their attempt to reach the heavens, the chair (and their emperor) disappeared in a cloud of fire and smoke.
Chinese rocketry goes back 800 years and Wan Hu is credited with making man's first space flight in the sixteenth century, however briefly. Strapped to a chair studded with rockets, inventor Wan blasted off - into oblivion.