Robert Goddard Facts

Robert Goddard Facts
Robert Hutchings Goddard (October 5, 1882 to August 10, 1945) was an American engineer, professor, physicist, and inventor. He built the world's first liquid-fueled rocket, which he successfully launched on March 16, 1926.
Interesting Robert Goddard Facts:
Robert Goddard was born in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Goddard's father, Nahum Goddard, encouraged his young son's interest in science by giving him a telescope, a microscope and a subscription to Scientific American magazine.
Goddard became fascinated with flight and experimented with kites and balloons.
On October 19, 1899 he climbed a tree to cut dead limbs and became intrigued with the idea of exploring the heavens.
He dates his fascination with space flight from that time and stated that on that date he conceived the possibility of a flight to Mars.
He later wrote, "It seemed to me that a weight whirling around a horizontal shaft, moving more rapidly above than below, could furnish lift by virtue of the greater centrifugal force."
He admitted "I was a different boy when I descended the tree from when I ascended" and for the rest of his life he observed October 19 as Anniversary Day.
Goddard had frail health as a child and spent much of his time reading and studying physics.
He studied papers on aerodynamics published in the Smithsonian.
He studied Newton's Principia Mathematica and began to experiment with motion in space.
In 1904 he was the valedictorian of his class and in his speech wrote the words that guided the rest of his has often proved true that the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow."
After earning his B.S. at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1908, he entered Clark University where he received a PhD in 1911.
In 1907 Scientific American magazine published his paper on gyro-stabilization of aircraft.
On February 2, 1909 he wrote a paper detailing the increased efficiency of a rocket using liquid hydrogen with a liquid oxygen stabilizer.
On November 2, 1915 Goddard received a patent for his invention of a vacuum tube that amplified a radio signal.
By 1913 he had worked out the mathematics of the position and velocity of a rocket in vertical flight.
In 1914 he received two patents, the earliest of 214 he would eventually receive.
The first was for a multi-stage rocket that used a solid fuel propellant and the second for solid or liquid fuel.
In 1915 he experimented with using the de Laval nozzles to increase the efficiency of his rocket engines and was able to achieve efficiencies of up to 63%.
In September Goddard sent his paper, A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes, to the Smithsonian which then provided him with a five year research grant.
The words of Goddard's high school valedictorian speech would prove prophetic when he was subjected to ridicule and vicious attacks in the press for his predictions of spaceflight.
On July 17, 1969, forty nine years after its article ridiculing Goddard, the New York Times printed a "Correction" admitting that rockets function very well in a vacuum and regretting the error.

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