Robert Goddard - IntroductionAccording to Britannica, Robert Goddard conducted theoretical and experimental research on rocket motors using a steel motor with a tapered nozzle and achieved greatly improved thrust and efficiency for the rockets of his times. During World War One, Robert Goddard developed a number of small military rockets for use as weapons that were launched from lightweight hand launchers. Robert Goddard switched from using black powder (gunpowder) to double-base powder (40 percent nitroglycerin, 60 percent nitrocellulose) inventing a more potent propulsion charge for his rockets. Goddard's rocket weapon became the forerunner of the bazooka, developed during World War Two.
Robert Goddard - BiographyRobert Goddard was one of the three most prominent pioneers of rocketry and spaceflight theory. He earned his Ph.D. in physics at Clark University in 1911 and went on to become head of the Clark physics department and director of its physical laboratories.
He began to work seriously on rocket development in 1909 and is credited with launching the world's first liquid-propellant rocket in 1926. On March 16, 1926, Goddard successfully tested the first liquid fuel rocket, at Auburn Massachusetts.
He continued his rocket development work with the help of a few technical assistants throughout the remainder of his life. He developed and patented many of the technologies later used on large rockets and missiles, including: film cooling, gyroscopically controlled vanes, and a variable-thrust rocket motor. He was granted about 70 patents altogether.
Robert Goddard kept most of the technical details of his inventions a secret and thus missed the chance to demonstrate his full genius. In memory of the brilliant scientist, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., was established on May 1, 1959.
Robert Goddard's Historic FirstsRobert Goddard's basic contribution to missilery and space flight is a lengthy list. His lifetime of work in establishing and demonstrating the fundamental principles of rocket propulsion included the following highlights:
- First explored mathematically the practicality of using rocket propulsion to reach high & altitudes and even the moon (1912);
- First proved, by actual static test, that a rocket will work in a vacuum, that it needs no air to push against;
- First developed and shot a liquid fuel rocket, March 16,1926;
- First shot a scientific payload (barometer and camera) in a rocket flight (1929, Auburn, Massachusetts);
- First used vanes in the rocket motor blast for guidance (1932, New Mexico);
- First developed gyro control apparatus for rocket flight (1932, New Mexico);
- First received U.S. patent in idea of multi-stage rocket (1914);
- First developed pumps suitable for rocket fuels;
- First launched successfully a rocket with a motor pivoted on gimbals under the influence of a gyro mechanism (1937).