Friday, October 5, 2012

October 5

October 5 is the birthdate of Robert H. Goddard, physicist and inventor credited with creating the world's first liquid-fueled (gasoline and liquid oxygen) rocket, which he launched in March 1926 in Auburn, Massachusetts. Though the rocket (named "Nell") rose a mere 41 feet during a 2.5-second flight that covered 184 feet, it established the viability of liquid propellants. Goddard’s work and his patents, including one for multi-stage rocket design (1914), are considered key milestones in the scientific potential of missiles and spaceflight. He continued to develop rockets using gyroscopes and other devices, sometimes was ridiculed in the press, and died (in 1945) prior to the Space Age. Pictured: Goddard and the first liquid-fueled rocket (at top), fuel tank situated below.

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