Robert H. Goddard

Physicist, Inventor

1882 – 1945

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Who was Robert H. Goddard?

Robert Hutchings Goddard was an American professor, physicist, and inventor who is credited with creating and building the world's first liquid-fueled rocket, which he successfully launched on March 16, 1926. Goddard and his team launched 34 rockets between 1926 and 1941, achieving altitudes as high as 2.6 km and speeds as high as 885 km/h.

Goddard's work as both theorist and engineer anticipated many of the developments that were to make spaceflight possible. He has been called the man who ushered in the Space Age. Two of Goddard's 214 patented inventions — a multi-stage rocket, and a liquid-fuel rocket — were important milestones toward spaceflight. His 1919 monograph A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes is considered one of the classic texts of 20th-century rocket science. Goddard successfully applied three-axis control, gyroscopes and steerable thrust to rockets, to effectively control their flight.

Although his work in the field was revolutionary, Goddard received little public support for his research. The press sometimes ridiculed his theories of spaceflight. As a result, he became protective of his privacy and his work. Years after his death, at the dawn of the Space Age, he came to be recognized as the founding father of modern rocketry. He not only recognized the potential of rockets for atmospheric research, ballistic missiles and space travel but was the first to scientifically study, design and construct the rockets needed to implement those ideas.

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Born
Oct 5, 1882
Worcester
Also known as
  • Robert Hutchings Goddard
Parents
Siblings
Spouses
Ethnicity
  • White American
Nationality
  • United States of America
Profession
Education
  • M.A., Clark University
    Physics
    (1909 - 1910)
  • Bachelor of Science, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
    Physics
    (1904 - 1908)
  • PhD, Clark University
    Physics
    ( - 1911)
Employment
  • Instructor, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
    (1908 - 1909)
  • Instructor, Clark University
Lived in
  • Worcester
  • Massachusetts
  • Roswell
Died
Aug 10, 1945
Baltimore

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

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"Robert H. Goddard." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 25 Jan. 2022. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/robert_h_goddard>.

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