Say what you like about the “Human Bullet”, F. Rodman Law, he wasn’t superstitious. On 13 March 1913, Law made the first known attempt at a manned rocket flight, in a 13 metre (44 foot) craft he had designed and built himself.
His plan was to launch in Jersey City, ascend about a kilometre (3,500 feet), then parachute down - a feat even more extraordinary for its time than Felix Baumgartner's Red Bull Stratos of 2012, and very considerably more dangerous, as was proved when Law's rocket exploded on launch. Amazingly, he picked himself up from the fragments, singed and bloody, and walked away.
We are lauding Mr Law, one of the 20th century's unsung heroes, with an aptly named orchard-fruit concoction, the Steep Flight.
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