It Really Is Rocket Science, Robert Goddard, born

Robert Goddard, in full Robert Hutchings Goddard, (born October 5, 1882, Worcester, Massachusetts, U.S.—died August 10, 1945, Baltimore, Maryland), American professor and inventor generally acknowledged to be the father of modern rocketry. He published his classic treatise, A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes, in 1919.

Dr. Robert Hutchings Goddard (1882-1945) is considered the father of modern rocket propulsion. A physicist of great insight, Goddard also had a unique genius for invention. It is in memory of this brilliant scientist that NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, was established on May 1, 1959.

  • Explored the practicality of using rocket propulsion to reach high altitudes, even the moon (1912)
  • Proved that a rocket will work in a vacuum, that it needs no air to push against
  • Developed and fired a liquid fuel rocket (March 16, 1926, Auburn, Mass.)
  • Shot a scientific payload in a rocket flight (1929, Auburn, Mass.)
  • Used vanes in the rocket motor blast for guidance (1932, New Mexico)
  • Developed gyro control apparatus for rocket flight (1932, New Mexico)
  • Received U.S. patent for of multi-stage rocket (1914)
  • Developed pumps suitable for rocket fuels
  • Launched a rocket with a motor pivoted on gimbals under the influence of a gyro mechanism (1937)

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