1890   Hermann Ganswindt proposes a reaction-powered space   
                    First publication of Konstantin Tsiolkovski articles   
                        on the mechanics and theory of space flight.       
                      Robert H.  Goddard begins experiments with powder    
              1914                        rockets.                         
          Jan 1919          Goddard patents liquid rocket engine.          
                   Publication of Goddard's "A Method of Reaching Extreme  
              1923                       Altitudes".                       
               Nov  Hermann Oberth publishes his doctoral thesis on space  
          Jul 1927   Goddard successfully static tests the world's first   
                                 liquid fuel rocket engine.                
                         German Society for Space Flight is formed.        
          Jan 1933   Oberth's book, Wege zur Raumschiffahrt, containing    
                       details of a satellite rendezvous proposal, is      
          May 1935                                                         
                         Wehrmacht assumes control of German rocket        
              1938                    experimentation;                     
                      Captain Walter Dornberger is assigned to monitor     
        Oct 2 1942                    program for the                      
                        eventual development of a bombardment rocket.      
        Sep 8 1944                                                         
                   Goddard fires a liquid-fuel test rocket to an altitude  
        Oct 3 1945                     of  7,000 feet.                     
                      Formal development of A-4 (V-2) missile begins at    
          Nov 1945                       Peenemunde.                       
                      V-2, on third attempt, successfully completes its    
                                    initial field trial.                   
          Dec 1945                                                         
                                 The first V-2 hits London.                
        Mar 7 1946 U S Navy Bureau of Aeronautics proposes development of  
                                   an American satellite.                  
             Apr 9                                                         
                    General of the Armies H.H. Arnold urges that the air   
                    service start the development of long range ballistic  
            May 12              missiles and space vehicles.               
                    Dr. Vannevar Bush ridicules Arnold recommendations in  
                             testimony  before Senate committee.           
            May 14                                                         
                       U.S. Navy proposes interservice space program.      
                       Aeronautical Board of Research and Development      
          Jan 1947     Committee first discusses proposal for American     
                                     satellite program.                    
               Jun  U.S. Army Air Forces receive the RAND study proposing  
            Sep 18  development of an American satellite and attesting to  
                             the feasibility of the undertaking.           
            Sep 25                                                         
                     Major General C.E. LeMay presents AAF-RAND study to   
                      Aeronautics Board of the Research and Development    
            (Fall)       Committee; board fails to take any action.        
                      U.S. Navy asks Research and Development Board for    
               Dec   authority over United States satellite development.   
                        Aeronautical Board requests authority to fund      
             Dec 8                   satellite studies.                    
                       United States Air Force officially created and      
            Dec 19                       activated.                        
                       USAF headquarters directed Air Materiel Command     
       Jan 15 1948  Division to evaluate RAND satellite studies received   
                                 the previous                              
            Jan 16                                                         
                    White Sands Proving Ground designs and proposes Army   
               Oct                          space                          
                                     flight experiment.                    
           1951        Navy claims satellite jurisdiction; USAF rocket     
                                      programs dropped.                    
       May 22 1953    Engineering Division completes evaluation of RAND    
                                    satellite proposals.                   
                      Joint Research and Development Board Committee on    
            Jun 16     Guided Missiles acquires Department of Defense      
                    responsibility for coordination and control of Earth   
                                 Satellite Vehicle programs.               
             Sep 8                                                         
                     General H.S. Vandenberg issues policy statement on    
                              primacy of USAF space interest.              
             Dec 3                                                         
                        Navy withdraws claim for control of satellite      
        Mar 1 1954    "Grimminger Report" is published, starting United    
                         States interest in a scientific satellite.        
               Aug    The Artificial Satellite, first published work on    
                                      scientific space                     
                                  experimentation, appears.                
            Sep 15                                                         
                       USAF headquarters directs the Air Research and      
                    Development Command to investigate the feasibility of  
               Oct   starting development of an auxiliary nuclear power    
                                   source for satellites.                  
                     Defense Secretary C E Wilson directs review of all    
                        guided missile programs with the objective of      
            Nov 27             eliminating duplicative effort.             
                      RAND recommends that the USAF let a contract for     
            Dec 14        development of a satellite system with a         
                                   reconnaissance mission.                 
       Mar 16 1955 Weapon System 117L, Advanced Reconnaissance System, is  
                       documented by ARDC as firs step toward securing     
                               approval for a system  program.             
            May 26                                                         
                         RAND formally recommends early start on the       
                                      development of a                     
               Aug                reconnaissance satellite.                
                    Congress approves United States participation in the   
            Aug 31                     International                       
                                  Geophysical Year program.                
            Oct 10     Army Ordnance proposes development of a minimum     
                         satellite under the name "Project Orbiter".       
                      USAF Assistant Secretary Trevor Gardner asks the     
            Oct 14  Scientific Advisory Group to study and report on the   
                                   interaction of current                  
                      satellite proposals with the recently accelerated    
             Nov 1       intercontinental ballistic missile program.       
                      System Requirement Number 5 is issued, covering a    
       Jan 14 1956                reconnaissance satellite.                
                    Army representatives approach the other services with  
                      proposals for cooperative development of  Project    
            Jan 16                                                         
                    General Operational Requirement Number 80 is issued,   
               Feb  covering development of a reconnaissance  satellite.   
             Apr 2    The National Security Council rules that military    
                        rockets may not be used in the United States       
                                scientific satellite program.              
            Jul 24                                                         
                       The Stewart Committee selects the Navy Vanguard     
                     proposal as the United States scientific satellite    
                        USAF headquarters directs ARDC to establish a      
                    scientific satellite auxiliary to Weapon System 117L   
                    Responsibility for Weapon System 117L is transferred   
                      from Wright Air Development Center to the Western    
                                Development Division of ARDC.              
                        USAF cancels the requirement for a scientific      
                          satellite version of  Weapon System 117L.        
                    USAF directs re-establishment of scientific satellite  
                         program and submission of development plan.       
                     Preliminary development plan cove ring a scientific   
                   satellite version of  Weapon System 117L is published;  
                     Western Development Division emphasizes urgency of    
                      support requirements if program is  to have  any     
                                     chance of success.                    
                     ARDC headquarters approves preliminary development    
                       Presentation of ARDC plan to Stewart Committee.     
                         Western Development Division publishes full       
                          development plan for Weapon  System 117L.        
                   USAF approves development plan for Weapon System 117L.