During the 8th century Tang dynasty, sulphur and saltpeter were first combined with charcoal to create an explosive called huoyao or gunpowder. A substance that did not encourage eternal life, however, gunpowder was used to treat skin diseases and as a fumigant to kill insects before its advantage as a weapon was made clear.
The Chinese began experimenting with the gunpowder filled tubes. At some point, they attached bamboo tubes to arrows and launched them with bows. Soon they discovered that these gunpowder tubes could launch themselves just by the power produced from the escaping gas. The true rocket was born.