The dramatic strides toward space travel through rocketry have not spontaneously developed in the twentieth century. Rather they express centuries of theorizing and experimentation in the fields of physics, engineering, and astronomy. In this compact text, the authors trace the development of these fields from their earliest stages in classical Europe and China up to the present. Galileo, Columbus, Newton, Wan-Hoo, Canswindt, Mendoleyev, Goddard, and other space pioneers are discussed specifically in terms of their contribution to rocketry, with the balance of the book devoted to modern developments in the field. A helpful introduction in space travel, Starbound treats its popular subject in the scientific context in which it belongs.