It’s been 90 years since the first liquid-fueled rocket lifted off led as an experiment by Robert Goddard, a physics professor from Massachusetts. The event that took place at Auburn, Massachusetts on March 16, 1926, was the antecedent for current rocket launches for scientific purposes.
Although rockets were majorly undeveloped by the 20th century, Goddard soon realized that using liquid propellants could provide better benefits rather than using soli-fueled rockets. Almost a hundred years ago, Massachusetts physics professor started testing rockets fueled by liquid gasoline as well as liquid oxygen.
There’s no doubt that Goddard’s invention changed space science for good, as until that time, scientists relied on observations from the surface of Earth. The liquid-fueled rocket experiments made by physics professor Goddard also led to the creation of NASA only three decades after it’s first successful attempt.
Although before getting it right, Goddard faced many challenges with its new design and given that he was ahead of his time regarding rocket launches, he didn’t have access to technology in his lifetime. In addition, he was able to determine the necessary amount of fuel mixed with oxygen in order to produce enough thrust for lifting the rocket. Yet, it’s safe to assume he didn’t get the proper mix of fuel and oxygen in his first try as he spent over 17 years tinkering with his design.
The namesake of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland was in order to honor his legacy as the physics professor dreamed of creating an interplanetary vehicle as far back as 1909. While this couldn’t happen during his lifetime, professor Goddard laid the foundations for modern rockets and his research made possible the landing of Neil Armstrong on the moon just 40 years after his experiment.
Thanks to his work, descendants of that first rocket experiment provide an astounding look at cosmic phenomena as well as the universe surrounding the Milky Way galaxy. Current spacecraft launches and model rockets were not possible without the Prof. Goddard’s research, as he laid the foundations for liquid-fueled rockets.
It’s amazing how something so small as launching a liquid-fueled rocket almost a century ago has become the ancestor for space travel, a better understanding of the Earth as it can be seen from space and current rocket launches still based on Goddard’s design. Goddard was responsible for changing the way scientists can perceive and study the Earth, the moon, the entire solar system and even another galaxies.
Source: Space Coast Daily