China’s first men in space

I found this little anecdote from the Reuters article quite amusing:

China invented gunpowder and legend has it that a Ming dynasty (1368-1644) official named Wan Hu attempted the world’s first space launch. He strapped himself to a chair with kites in each hand as 47 servants lit 47 gunpowder-packed bamboo tubes tied to the seat.

When the smoke had cleared, Wan was apparently found to have been obliterated. But the dream survived.

Congratulations to the three Chinese astronauts. Do land safely.