Robert Goddard



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Robert Goddard

  • Second Grade: This keynote supplements the social studies book Robert Goddard by Lola M. Schaefer
  • Robert Goddard, the father of American rocketry, was born on October 5, 1882, in Worcester, Massachusetts. Goddard began to invent and experiment at a very young age. He built new kinds of kites. He used his attic as a chemistry lab. And he tried but failed to send up a hydrogen-filled aluminum balloon.
  • Goddard was fascinated by rockets. They had been used only as fireworks or weapons. But Goddard believed that a piloted rocket might one day reach the moon or another planet.
  • "Goddard, Robert Hutchings." Reviewed by Milton Lehman. The New Book of Knowledge®. 2009. Grolier Online. 2 Mar. 2009 <http://nbk.grolier.com/cgi-bin/article?assetid=a2011960-h>.
  • http://www.time.com/time/covers/0,16641,1101690725,00.html
  • In 1919 the Smithsonian published Goddard's report. It was called A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes. In its pages, Goddard described a multistage rocket. He argued that such a rocket could reach the moon. The newspapers mocked this idea...
  • "Goddard, Robert Hutchings." Reviewed by Milton Lehman. The New Book of Knowledge®. 2009. Grolier Online. 2 Mar. 2009 <http://nbk.grolier.com/cgi-bin/article?assetid=a2011960-h>.
  • People Laughed at Him... so he tried to do his work privately.
  • He hoped to design rockets that could carry measuring instruments to very high altitudes. If rockets proved useful for this purpose, people would be more likely to approve the funding of rocket research.
  • In 1916, Goddard asked the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., for financial support. After weighing Goddard's request, which included a report on rocket science, the Smithsonian gave him $5,000.
  • "Goddard, Robert Hutchings." Reviewed by Milton Lehman. The New Book of Knowledge®. 2009. Grolier Online. 2 Mar. 2009 <http://nbk.grolier.com/cgi-bin/article?assetid=a2011960-h>.
  • In the 1920's Goddard began experimenting with a new kind of rocket. Its engine burned liquid fuel and liquid oxygen instead of gunpowder. It promised greater power and more control.
  • With gunpowder and other solid-fuel rockets, there was no way to control the burn rate and thrust. But Goddard built liquid-fuel rockets that contained separate tanks for the fuel and oxygen.
  • The Liquid-Fuel Rocket.  

The First Flight of Nell

  • On March 16, 1926, Goddard finished building a spindly, 10-ft. rocket he dubbed Nell, loaded it into an open car and trundled it out to his aunt Effie's nearby farm. He set up the missile in a field, then summoned an assistant, who lit its fuse with a blowtorch attached to a long stick. For an instant the rocket did nothing at all, then suddenly it leaped from the ground and screamed into the sky at 60 m.p.h. Climbing to an altitude of 41 ft., it arced over, plummeted earthward and slammed into a frozen cabbage patch 184 ft. away. The entire flight lasted just 2 1/2 sec. — but that was 2 1/2 sec. longer than any liquid-fueled rocket had ever managed to fly before.
  • http://www.time.com/time/time100/scientist/profile/goddard02.html
  • Smithsonian Photograph
  • #2006-3191
  • http://www.nasm.si.edu/exhibitions/gal100/goddard.htm
  • Goddard set up a research station near Roswell, New Mexico. In New Mexico rocket tests could be made year-round. There Goddard developed larger and better rocket engines and steering devices. In 1935 one of his rockets flew at the speed of sound for the first time.
  • During World War II, Goddard was called to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland. He developed a liquid-fuel jet device to assist flying boats (a kind of airplane) in taking off from bodies of water. He asked the government to develop rockets for use as long-range weapons. Although Goddard was one of the world's leading rocket experts, the United States did not act on his suggestion.
  • "Goddard, Robert Hutchings." Reviewed by Milton Lehman. The New Book of Knowledge®. 2009. Grolier Online. 2 Mar. 2009 <http://nbk.grolier.com/cgi-bin/article?assetid=a2011960-h>.
  • Goddard avoided publicity. Few people appreciated Goddard's work during his lifetime. One of the people who took Goddard's work seriously was German scientist Wernher Von Braun. Von Braun eventually led the German military's rocket program during World War II (1939-1945).
  • After the war, Von Braun developed rockets for the American space program. In 1969, long after Goddard's death, this program sent the first astronauts to the moon.
  • "Goddard, Robert Hutchings." Reviewed by Milton Lehman. The New Book of Knowledge®. 2009. Grolier Online. 2 Mar. 2009 <http://nbk.grolier.com/cgi-bin/article?assetid=a2011960-h>.
  • Robert Goddard died on August 10, 1945. Shortly after his death, the United States started a large rocket program for military defense. Goddard's work finally began to attract wide notice. In 1959 he was awarded a Congressional medal. In 1962 the Goddard Space Flight Center, in Greenbelt, Maryland, was dedicated.
  • "Goddard, Robert Hutchings." Reviewed by Milton Lehman. The New Book of Knowledge®. 2009. Grolier Online. 2 Mar. 2009 <http://nbk.grolier.com/cgi-bin/article?assetid=a2011960-h>.
  • http://education.gsfc.nasa.gov/
  • http://www.centennialofflight.gov/essay/SPACEFLIGHT/Goddard/SP3.htm
  • -From Launius, Roger D. Frontiers of Space Exploration. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1998.
  • Goddard accomplished a great deal but because of his modesty, most people did not know about his achievements during his lifetime. These included theorizing on the possibilities of jet-powered aircraft, rocket-borne mail and express, passenger travel in space, nuclear-powered rockets, and journeys to the Moon and other planets. He also made the first mathematical exploration of the practicality of using rockets to reach high altitudes and achieve escape velocity. He patented numerous inventions associated with space flight...Although he did not live to see the space age begin, if any one man had a central role in its creation, it was Goddard.
  • How has the world changed?
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  • “Rockets”
  • Britannica Elementary Encyclopedia
  • http://www.britannica.com
  • Flying devices called rockets come in many sizes, from simple fireworks to the engines that are used to launch missiles, satellites, and spacecraft. The vehicles driven by rockets are often called rockets themselves.
  • Rockets in China
  • Rockets may have been first used in 13th-century China. The Chinese had probably used gunpowder for about a thousand years before that time. They made rockets by filling bamboo cases with gunpowder. When they lit the gunpowder, it exploded. The gas from the explosion sent the rocket into the air.
  • The Chinese used rockets during religious ceremonies. The noise of the rockets was believed to frighten off evil spirits. The Chinese also used rockets as weapons. They shot rockets at Mongol invaders, who called the rockets “fire arrows.”
  • Rockets in space travel
  • In the late 19th century a Russian scientist named Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky proposed the idea that rockets could be used to travel into space. Tsiolkovsky was influenced by the stories of space travel by the French writer Jules Verne. Tsiolkovsky knew that enormous power would be needed to carry human beings beyond Earth's pull of gravity. He did not actually build rockets, but his theories about rockets remain in use today. Robert H. Goddard, a U.S. engineer, built the first liquid-fuel rocket in 1925.
  • The Soviet Union launched the first rocket into space. The spacecraft, called Sputnik 1, entered space in October 1957. Rockets carried dogs and monkeys into space until humans felt ready to make a space trip themselves. By 1969 rockets had carried men to the moon. (See also space exploration.)
  • “History of Rockets”
  • http://www.kidsinfobits.com
  • Rockets as Inventions (Late 19th Century)


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