It is difficult to say what is impossible. For the dream of yesterday....is the hope of today...and the reality of tomorrow. -Robert H Goddard
His research in liquid fueled rockets was taken seriously. Regrettably not in the US until after 1945 when the technology was captured in Germany.
What I think is sad now is there are kids who will never feel that power those Saturn rockets had. I saw four launches in person back in my youth. Ringside seats so to say. I was in the special spectators viewing area. My dad had a friend who worked for NASA. When that rocket powered up…..and went skywards……even when you could not see it you could still hear it.
In 1920, the New York Times in a typical fit of editorial ignorance, wrote:
“That Professor Goddard, with his “chair” in Clark College and the countenancing of the Smithsonian Institution, does not know the relation of action and reaction, and of the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react—to say that would be absurd. Of course he only seems to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools."
They didn’t correct it until 1969, when NASA perversely launched Apollo 11 to the moon landing.
It’s too bad he’s buried at Worcester, Massachusetts and not actually within sight of the Cape launch site.
Some would call that a wasted life. That is anything but!I had never heard of this man until today, but already I commend him for ignoring the slings and arrows, even if his dream never completely took off.
The concept of “Impossible” is ever more difficult to define.
MeGoNow: His one contribution to the US in WW-II was JATO, a solid-fuel rocket to assist heavily loaded aircraft to take off of short runways. His contributions to rocket science were effectively perverted by von Braun to the development of the ICBM, rather than space exploration.
A rocket does have something to “push against” in space or atmosphere – the spot opposite the exhaust where, unlike the rest of the combustion chamber, there is nothing to push back.
There is nothing both less and more satisfying than an outcast’s ultimate historical vindication. For a good explanation of Robert Goddard’s career, watch the “Cosmos” episode, “Blues for a Red Planet.” Or, even better in Sagan’s BROCA’S BRAIN, “Via Cherry Tree, To Mars.”
As a child, I read everything I could find about Robert Goddard and rockets. As a man, I was fortunate enough to be firing large liquid-fuel rockets from the island of Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides (Scotland).Veteran is right; you can hear them and feel them for a long time (talk about “surround sound”). Simply amazing.
Night-Gaunt49: von Braun was interested in survival. If he had his druthers, he probably would have rather worked on space vehicles. At least it would have been less likely to have Bomber Command visit “the facilities” at the same time he was there. It is also why he made sure he was captured by the US forces instead of USSR, it gave him a well-paying job instead of more of the restricted luxury he had under the Nazis.
I looked this guy up
February 06, 2014