Winner of the Luigi Napolitano Award (2006) from the International Academy of Astronautics This book presents the fascinating story of the events that paved the way to space. It introduces the reader to the history of early rocketry and the subsequent developments that led into the space age. People of various nations and from various lands contributed to the breakthrough to space, and the book takes the reader to faraway places on five continents. It also includes many quotes to give readers a flavor of how the participants viewed the developments. Most publications on the topic either target narrow aspects of rocket history or are popular books that scratch the surface, with minimal and sometimes inaccurate technical details. This book bridges the gap. It contains numerous technical details usually unavailable in popular publications. The details are not overbearing and anyone interested in rocketry and space exploration will navigate through the book without difficulty. There are 340 figures and photographs, many appearing for the first time.