Thursday, February 18, 2010

His Neighbors Didn't Like Rockets Either

Dr Robert Goddard, Father of American Rocketry

Goddard's Rocket
Dr. Robert Goddard with his rocket.

In 1919 he published a scientific paper entitled ''A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes" in which he described a liquid propulsion system for rockets that could allow us to reach the Moon. The New York Times published an editorial suggesting that Dr. Goddard was '...either playing a joke or was ignorant of elementary physics if he thought that a rocket could work in the vacuum of space.' Yes, the media really does keep us enlightened.

On March 16, 1926, Goddard tested an actual rocket at his Aunt Effie's farm in Auburn Massachussetts. Eventually the neighbors opposition forced him to go to Roswell, New Mexico where he continued his experiments. Goddard, though he held some 200 patents in rocket technology, received little recognition for his work... in the United States.

In Germany, Dr. Wernher von Braun read Goddard's paper and developed the V2 program that became the basis for the American and Russian space efforts. Von Braun, now working for the American missle agency, said of Goddard: ''Don't you know about your own rocket pioneer? Dr. Goddard was ahead of us all.''

Today the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt Maryland is named in his honor.

Here's an Interesting Article [click to read] on Dr. Goddard from the New York Times.

So, what are we missing when we shut down Augusta's 'Rocket Boys?'

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