Although many countries, such as Russia and America, had tried to launch rockets, it was Germany in 1943 who began to successfully launch V-2 rockets against targets in the UK, Belgium and France.
The V-2 used a liquid fuel rocket motor and was able to fly up to 200km high if launched vertically.
At the end of World War 2, the Russians and Americans competed with each other to capture the technology and scientists from the German rocket program.
One such scientist, who was flown to the US, was Wernher von Braun. He is widely known as the 'Father of Rocket Science'.
In later years, he was the chief designer of the Saturn V rocket that would take men to the moon.
Wernher von Braun