Dr. Robert H. Goddard Inventor of the Liquid-fueled rocket

Background on Dr. Goddard

Dr. Robert Hutchings Goddard was born on Oct. 5, 1882, in Worcester, Massachusetts, the only surviving child of Fannie Louise Hoyt and Nahum Danford Goddard. Interested in science as a child, Goddard became intrigued by space. He later died of throat cancer in Baltimore, Maryland, on August 10, 1945. Goddard was 62 years old.

Robert's Inspiration

Young Goddard became interested in science - specifically, engineering and technology, when his father showed him how to generate static electricity on the family's carpet, the five-year-old's imagination was sparked. He became interested in space when he read H. G. Wells' science fiction classic "The War of the Worlds" when he was 16 years old.

Robert's Invention

Dr. Robert Goddard invented the first liquid-fueled rocket. By 1926, Goddard had constructed and successfully tested the first rocket using liquid fuel. The flight of Goddard’s rocket was on March 16, 1926, at Auburn, Massachusetts. During his lifetime Dr Goddard designed, built and launched 35 rockets of increasing sophistication.

Previous and Modern Rockets

The first rocket to go into space was created by a team of German scientists, led by Wernher von Braun. It was a V-2 rocket used by Germany in World War II. Roger Goddard's rocket is liquid-fueled and is used in modern rocketry. Space rockets today are very similar to the invention of Robert Goddard. Liquid-fueled rockets invented by Robert Goddard are used today.

V-2 Rocket Made by Germany (top left); Robert Goddard's Rocket (top right and bottom)

Field of Engineering and Awards

Dr. Robert Goddard's invention, the liquid- fueled rocket, would fall under the Aerodynamic field of engineering. Robbert Goddard received the Langley Gold Medal. The Langley Gold Medal, or Samuel P. Langley Medal for Aerodynamics, is an award given by the Smithsonian Institution for outstanding contributions to the sciences of aeronautics and astronautics.

Dr. Robert H. Goddard


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