Missile Men Heroes or Anti-Heroes -Ifrith Islam
That missile is made to do good to man or to do away with the human is a big question. Ten to one you will find the majority of the humanity to claim it is for destruction. It is for regress not for progress. Though the weapon is meant for annihilation of the world but missile men are hailed as heroes across the planet. APJ Abdul Kalam, Qadeer Khan, Robert Goddard, Wernher von Braun, Tipu Sultan are a few to name. They are dubbed to heroes most probably because of the pervasive arms race in the world. Missiles projects are being taken because developing and aspiring nations want to secure existence and to counter the threat of world powers.
What is missile and who invented it?
The word “missile” means any thrown or fired object, but often it means a weapon used by the military, which is a rocket that explodes on impact. Rockets were invented in medieval China (Circa 1044 AD) but its first practical use for serious purpose other than entertainment took place in 1232 AD by the Chinese against the Mongols at the siege of Kai-Feng-Fue. Thereafter from 1750 AD to 1799 AD Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan of Mysore in south India perfected the rocket’s use for military purposes, very effectively using it in war against British colonial armies. Tipu Sultan had 27 brigades (called Kushoons) and each brigade had a company of rocket men called Jourks. In the Second Anglo-Mysore war, at the Battle of Pollilur, Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan achieved a grand victory, whereby the whole British detachment lead by Colonel Baillie was destroyed and 3820 soldiers were taken prisoner (including Colonel Baillie). The contributory cause being that one of the British ammunition tambrils was set on fire by Mysorean rockets.
In the defense arena, Raytheon invented guided missile technology and created both the Tomahawk and Patriot missiles.
300 CE – Rockets are developed by the Chinese using gunpowder. They were used for religious ceremonies celebrating the ancient Chinese Gods as well as for entertainment (i.e. fireworks).
11th century CE – Rockets and fireworks evolve into use for weaponry in China.
Between 1270 and 1280, Hasan al-Rammah wrote al-furusiyyah wa al-manasib al-harbiyya (The Book of Military Horsemanship and Ingenious War Devices), which included 107 gunpowder recipes, 22 of which are for rockets; he arrived to the same results of Bacon 13 years before, because if one takes the median of 17 of these 22 compositions for rockets (75% nitrates, 9.06% sulphur and 15.94% carbon), it is almost identical with the reported ideal recipe. According to Ahmad Y Hassan, al-Rammah’s recipes were more explosive than rockets used in China at the time. He also invented a torpedo running on water with a rocket system filled with explosive materials.
The name Rocket comes from the Italian Rocchetta (i.e. little fuse), a name of a small firecracker created by the Italian artificer Muratori in 1379 “Artis Magnae Artilleriae pars prima” (“Great Art of Artillery, the First Part”, also known as “The Complete Art of Artillery”), first printed in Amsterdam in 1650, was translated to French in 1651, German in 1676, English and Dutch in 1729 and Polish in 1963. For over two centuries, this work of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth nobleman Kazimierz Seimienowicz was used in Europe as a basic artillery manual. The book provided the standard designs for creating rockets, fireballs, and other pyrotechnic devices. It contained a large chapter on caliber, construction, production and properties of rockets (for both military and civil purposes), including multi-stage rockets, batteries of rockets, and rockets with delta wing stabilizers (instead of the common guiding rods).
In 1650 Artis Magnae Artilleriae pars prima (“Great Art of Artillery, the First Part”) is printed in Amsterdam, about a year before the death of its author, Kazimierz Siemienowicz.
The missile technology was also claimed to be invented by numerous scientists across the planet. Nuclear Physics is studied in many universities of the world. One Indian journalist termed the nuclear to a bicyle technology. Russian scientist Rudolf Alenskie is one of the pioneering missile men.
Robert Goddard is claimed to inventor of liquid-fueled rockets and a control mechanism for rocket apparatus. During World War I, Goddard developed a number of designs of small military rockets to be launched from a lightweight hand launcher; they became the forerunners of the bazooka of World War II. According to Britannica, Robert Goddard conducted theoretical and experimental research on rocket motors using a steel motor with a tapered nozzle and achieved greatly improved thrust and efficiency for the rockets of his times.
Wernher von Braun
The V-2 Missile was developed in Germany from 1936 through the efforts of scientists led by Wernher von Braun. It was first successfully launched on October 3, 1942, and was fired against Paris on September 6, 1944.
Walter Robert Dornberger
The precursor of modern ballistic missiles was the German V-2, a single-stage, fin-stabilized missile propelled by liquid oxygen and ethyl alcohol to a maximum range of about 200 miles. Walter Robert Dornberger was the engineer who directed construction of the German V-2 rocket during World War II.
Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky
Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky, a Russian scientist and pioneer of the astronomic theory, was of Polish descent. Along with his followers, the German Hermann Oberth and the America Robert H. Goddard, he is considered to be one of the founding fathers of rocketry and astronomics.
Sergei Korolev was the lead Soviet rocket engineer and spacecraft designer in the Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union during the 1950s and 1960s. He is considered by many as the father of practical astronautics. Although Korolev was trained as an aircraft designer and became a recognized rocket designer and a key figure in the development of the Soviet intercontinental ballistic missile programme.
Abdul Qadeer Khan
In Pakistan he was known as Mohsin-e-Pakistan. More popularly known as A. Q. Khan, is a Pakistani nuclear physicist and a metallurgical engineer, colloquially regarded as the founder of high enriched uranium (HEU) based Gas-centrifuge uranium enrichment program for Pakistan’s integrated atomic bomb project. He founded and established the Kahuta Research Laboratories (KRL) in 1976, being both its senior scientist and the Director General. Apart from participating in Pakistan’s atomic bomb project, he made major contributions in molecular morphology, physical martensite, and its integrated applications in condensed and material physics. Abdul Qadeer Khan was one of Pakistan’s top scientists.
Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam
APJ Abdul Kalam was a career scientist of India. Kalam was born and raised in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, and studied physics and aerospace engineering. He spent the next four decades as a scientist and science administrator, mainly at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and was intimately involved in India’s civilian space program and military missile development efforts. He thus came to be known as the Missile Man of India for his work on the development of ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology. He also played a pivotal organizational, technical, and political role in India’s Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998, the first since the original nuclear test by India in 1974.
Kalam was elected President of India in 2002 with the support of both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the opposition Indian National Congress. After serving a term of five years, he returned to his civilian life of education, writing and public service. He was a recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour.
Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan was an Iranian nuclear scientist and university professor. Ahmadi Roshan was killed in a bomb blast near Gol Nabi Street, in north Tehran. He was a graduate of Sharif University and supervised a department at Natanz uranium enrichment facility in Isfahan province. Ahmadi-Roshan was a chemistry expert specializing in “making polymeric membranes for gaseous diffusion, part of the process needed for the enrichment of uranium.” He was a deputy director for commercial affairs at Natanz uranium enrichment facility. He was one of several Iranian nuclear scientists assassinated in recent years. Israel’s spy agency Mossad is believed carrying out the assassination to slow Iran’s peaceful nuclear programme. That Israel possesses 100 nuclear warheads was leaked to Sunday Times of London by Israeli nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu who had worked Negev Nuclear Research Centre.
Spread of rocket technology
Rocket technology first became known to Europeans following their use by the Mongols, Genghis Khan and, Ogedei Khan when they conquered parts of Russia, Eastern, and Central Europe. The Mongolians had acquired the Chinese technology by conquest of the northern part of China and also by the subsequent employment of Chinese rocketry experts as mercenaries for the Mongol military. Reports of the Battle of Sejo in the year 1241 describe the use of rocket-like weapons by the Mongols against the Magyars. Rocket technology also spread to Korea, with the 15th century wheeled hwacha that would launch singijeon rockets. These first Korean rockets had an amazingly long range at the time, and were designed and built by Byun Eee-Joong. They were just like arrows but had small explosives attached to the back, and were fired in swarms. In 1250, the Norwegian Konungs skuggsjá mentions, in its military chapter, the use of “coal and sulphur” as the best weapon for ship-to-ship combat.
Roger Bacon made one of the earliest mentions of gunpowder in Europe in 1267, in his work Epistola de secretis operibus artiis et naturae. His studies of gunpowder greatly improved the range of rockets. Bacon has been credited by some authors as the inventor of gunpowder (although the first to use it were Chinese), because around 1261 he developed the correct formula for gunpowder (75% of saltpeter, 15% of carbon and 10% of sulphur). Jean Froissart had the idea of launching rockets through tubes, so that they could make more accurate flights. Froissart’s idea is a forerunner of the modern bazooka.
Additionally, the spread of rockets into Europe was also influenced by the Ottomans at the siege of Constantinople in 1453, although it is very likely that the Ottomans themselves were influenced by the Mongol invasions of the previous few centuries. In their history of rockets published on the Internet, NASA says “Rockets appear in Arab literature in 1258 A.D., describing Mongol invaders’ use of them on February 15 to capture the city of Baghdad. Quick to learn, the Arabs adopted the rocket into their own arms inventory and, during the Seventh Crusade, used them against the French Army of King Luise XI in 1268.”
Whatever be the debate, the arms race to invent more and more long-range missiles is skyrocketing. The highest missile range is around 16000 km. At a speed of 7.9km per second the missiles cross to kill that humanity who funded the projects. Missile is art of marauding for the developed nations while defence for the developing as well as aspiring states.