In 1961, Doru Todericiu, Professor of Science and Technology at the University of Bucharest, stumbled upon an ancient document, the so-called Sibiu Manuscript.
The 450-page manuscript, bound into a large, single volume dated to about 1570 has history that goes back several centuries. It deals with technical data regarding a multi-stage rockets, artillery and ballistics.
The discovery has been lost in the mists of time, because historians have never referred to this invention being of such a great importance for early aviation.
The document was finally published in a Romanian Historical Review in 1967 under the title “The Sibiu Manuscript” (“The Sibiu Manuscript”, Doru Todericiu, Revue Roumaine d’histoire, 1967, ed. Académie de la république Socialiste de Roumanie).
The third part of “The Sibiu Manuscript” contains a detailed report of a “flying javelin” with a considerable effective range and the launching of a multi-tiered rocket, in the city of Sibiu, where thousands of people witnessed the event that ended up in a complete success in 1555.
The document describing the principles of a three-tiered, solid-fuelled space rocket, along with drawings regarding the invention, was written by Conrad Haas (c.1509-1579), an Austrian artillery officer, head of the Artillery Depot of Sibiu between 1550 and 1570, and resident of Sibiu (formerly Hermannstadt) in Romania.
The rockets of this type were later launched at Cape Kennedy and used by cosmonauts in the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs.
The Sibiu Manuscript is the first manuscript on rockets in the world.
Haas designed and built the rocket in two tiers, each with different diameters, with one fitting inside the other. In the experiment conducted in 1555, Haas tested a three-tier rocket.
The ancient manuscript of Conrad Haas still exists and constitutes the documentary proof of the inventions made almost 500 years ago! Among his technical developments and solutions are:
anticipating the idea of modern spaceship;
multi-stage rocket (two-tier ignition rocket and three-tier rocket)
rocket fuel with arrangement of fuel rates in stage rocket
use of liquid fuel and its different mixtures, depending on type, range, power and shape of the rocket
use the delta-wings for stabilisation.
The proof can be found in Sibiu Museum, Romania.
Lady Sala Shabazz, the founder of the Black Inventions Museum who passed away on March 28, 2002 said once:
“… Unfortunately, the individuals who are commissioned to write text books many times exhibited prejudice and omitted other historical information. In an effort to cover large spans of time, they have briefed history and left out so many other important facts and that’s something that many people have not been aware of.”
The city of Sibiu is known to many of us because it is the birthplace of Hermann Oberth, considered to be one of three fathers of rocketry and modern astronautics.