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Earliest Known Space Flight Attempt

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posted on Jan, 26 2005 @ 12:38 AM
I had read this story from several sources long before the internet, but had forgotten about it until this evening, thought you space fans would get a kick out of it. The first attempted Space Flight was not just your average Joe Blow either, it was an Emperor in 16th century China! He apparently wanted to 'meet the gods' and had himself strapped into a chair with several rockets attached to it. While he probably didn't acheive orbit, I would assume he actually did accomplish his goal of meeting his maker. Emperor Wan Hu, but Guiness should give him credit for not only the first powered flight, but probably the fastest speed achieved by a human prior to airplanes as well. He had guts man.
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.

posted on Jan, 26 2005 @ 01:12 AM
Found this image, and on further research, the story varies from him being an emperor to just being some sort of official, not sure as to which. I had alway heard he was an emperor, anybody know for sure?

If the pic doesn't show, here is a link...

posted on Jan, 26 2005 @ 07:11 PM
I have heard it as both.

This is almost as good as helium balloons

posted on Jan, 26 2005 @ 07:14 PM
What about Hot Air balloons, why weren't they ever called first flight? they might not have been powered flight or motorized flight, but it was still flight techically right?

Why is this under weapons again?

posted on Jan, 26 2005 @ 07:22 PM
I saw a myth busters on this and they made a chair with rocket tech back then. It blew up into a million pieces It very well could have seemed like he blasted off into the air and disappeared. In reality he was likely blown into a pieces .

They found lighting them all at the same time was very important and very hard to do even with a electrical ignition. I dont know how servants could have done them all at the same time.

They tried again with modern rockets and got the chair a few feet off the ground then it headed back down. A chair is not the most areodynamic shape.

posted on Jan, 26 2005 @ 07:51 PM

He apparently wanted to 'meet the gods'

I bet he got his wish. I don't think his fate would have been much better than Icarus’. That chair doesn't look very safe.

[edit on 26-1-2005 by dbates]

posted on Jan, 27 2005 @ 08:05 PM
Mythbusters is a great show, quite popular too I see...

I'm not suprised the chair didn't lift...

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