Biographies

Goddard and his rocket study

Goddard and his rocket study

Robert Hutchings Goddard (United States, 1882 - 1945), was an eminent American physicist, in addition to one of the pioneers in the field of space rockets. He graduated in science and received a doctorate in physics.

In 1914 he began designing rocket engines with the financial help of the Smithsonian Institution. Robert Goddard was a fervent defender of space travel, and already wrote about this possibility in 1919.

These advanced ideas, along with his withdrawn character and his obsession with working alone, made him the target of mockery of journalists and scientists. It didn't help that the flight of his first rocket, in March 1926, will only last two and a half seconds. Despite this, Goddard did not give up, since with this short flight he showed that liquid fuel propellers were possible.

Goddard spent much of his life perfecting the liquid propulsion system he invented. He perfected the flight control of a rocket, and studied the possibility of equipping it with a parachute to make the landing safer.

The first to be interested in their studies were the scientists of Nazi Germany. Wernher von Braun himself used Goddard's plans to develop the V-2 rockets during World War II.

Meanwhile, in his country Goddard began designing experimental aircraft for the US Navy, after his offer to develop rockets for the US Army was rejected.

His work did not begin to be really considered until after his death. The newspaper "The New York Times" itself had to retract its criticism of Goddard after the launch of Apollo 11, in 1969. For its part, NASA created the Goddard Space Flight Center in his honor in 1959.

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