ost people think that the first human to reach outer space was Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin in 1961, but what if I told you that there is someone else that may have reached outer space hundreds of years before Gagarin. Many of you would be pretty skeptical about this information as it is quite vague and not many historians have recorded this event but interestingly enough the event is even believed by NASA.
Mankind going for the stars
There is no official record as they are believed to have been lost throughout history or probably stuck in some forgotten Chinese library, but the event describes Wan-Hu, a noble from the Ming dynasty to have been the first astronaut.
During the 9th century, China invented gunpowder that not only aided the creation of many pre-modern weapons and firearms but also the creation of medieval rockets that were mainly used as fireworks. Many contemporary astrologists discussed through history the possibility of mankind reaching the stars in the far future.
Despite all this, Wan-Hu and others believed that the answer to reaching the stars was through the creation of a powerful force, and at the time the most powerful force they had was created by the explosion of gunpowder. Fireworks became very popular within China during the 14th century, they were always fired at festivals and even used in military tactics.
Wan-Hu was a writer and spent a lot of his time reading and researching. His idea of flying to space came one night when writing a poem about fireworks. They were able to fly high in the sky, so just having enough would allow him to do the same.
Anything is possible
Wan-Hu ordered his servants to create a chair that would be fitted with lots of rockets at the bottom and fueled by gunpowder. It is imperative to mention that the Chinese Royal Army was using a sort of rockets that they would launch towards the enemy which would fly much faster than any firework.
S,o the servants strapped as many rockets as possible to a big wooden chair. The records of this “legend” (as some prefer to call it) say that on a day during the 16th century Wan-Hu took off with the chair. He dressed in the fanciest clothes he had and prepared to be looked upon by the rest of the world or die in a glorious explosion.
Many servants were awaiting his order to fire the rockets with long torches. Upon Wan-Hu’s order, the rockets were lit up by the servants and a huge cloud of smoke followed. After that cloud of smoke, Wan-Hu disappeared in the sky only living a trail of black smoke behind.
Most people believed that he had died in an explosion whilst some actually believed that he had reached the moon. What is certain based on the records is that he never returned from space.
With this piece of history, I will say that everyone can be their own judge as there aren’t enough records to really justify what happened or how true this is. At the end of the day, it may be just a legend, but at the same time, the information is endorsed by NASA which should give it some sort of credibility. Let me know what you think in the comments section.