Although theoretical spaceships were dreamed of during the early 1900s, the first successful spaceship was the Sputnik 1, which was proposed on December 17, 1954 and launched on October 4, 1957. On April 12, 1961, the Vostok 1 became the first manned space craft.
Spaceship design is a team effort that builds on the efforts of many scientists and engineers, so pinning down an exact date for the first invention is impossible. The earliest documented person to seriously propose space travel using rockets was a Russian teacher named Konstantin Tsiolkovsky in 1898. His theories were added to by Hermann Oberth, a German who developed rockets during World War II. An American scientist named Robert Goddard also developed practical designs during the early part of the 20th century.