The Birth of the Modern Rocket

Check out this fantastic piece from Popular Mechanics, readers!

robert h goddard with rocket

Shooting at the Moon: The Pioneering Rocketry of Robert Goddard

In 1929, Popular Mechanics covered the explosive work of Robert Goddard. His liquid propellant-fueled rocket, the first of its kind, carved a path to the stars.

BY JOHN BRADY

MAR 16, 2021

In the December 1929 issue, Popular Mechanics covered the pioneering work of the rocketeer Robert H. Goddard. Just three years earlier, Goddard became the first to launch a liquid propellant-fueled rocket. It didn’t go very far at the time, but his invention set the stage for nearly a century’s worth of exploration. On the 95th anniversary of his ground-breaking 1926 launch, we celebrate an inventor whose designs would eventually propel humanity to the stars.

Shooting a rocket from the earth to the moon is no longer merely a fantasy of the mind. In fact, the first shot has been fired in what promises to be the most spectacular “battle of the century”-man’s struggle to conquer interplanetary space.

And as a result of the success of the experiment, Prof. Robert H. Goddard, of Clark University, claims that he has now solved all the major problems of accomplishing such an amazing feat. Moreover, he declares that the first practical test, outside a laboratory, of a working model of his rocket at Worcester, Mass., proved to his own satisfaction and that of other scientists who witnessed it, that a larger rocket of similar design operating on the same principle can be constructed which will have sufficient velocity to escape the earth’s attraction and soar to any desired altitude-to the moon or any one of the planets in the solar system.

Startling, indeed, are such statements, even in this age of scientific wonders. Yet, coming as they do from a conservative, cautious scientist, with a high reputation at stake, and who has spent twenty years in research and experiment on the problem of reaching extreme altitudes, they must be given serious consideration.

And one needs no other stimulant to the imagination to conceive that in the not distant future passenger-carrying air planes propelled by the rocket-principle engine will shoot across the Atlantic, the Pacific, or the United States in a few hours, and that eventually man may journey to the moon, or Mars and Venus.

Read more….

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