Culture

Robert H. Goddard #OnThisDay

On March 28th 1935 Robert H.Goddard successfully used gyroscopes to control a rocket.

NASA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Robert Goddard had been working on early rocket design for decades.

On March 28, 1935, the A-5 successfully flew vertically to an altitude of (0.91 mi; 4,800 ft) using his gyroscopic guidance system. It then turned to a nearly horizontal path, flew 13,000 feet and achieved a maximum speed of 550 miles per hour.

Born in 1882, Robert Goddard is also credited with creating and building the first liquid fueled rocket, with a successful launch in 1924. This was incredible when you think how flight was in its very early days.

Goddard’s brilliant work was revolutionary but at the time suffered from a continual lack of support. Investors did not take rocket science seriously. (In the West)

Inspired by reading the works of H.G.Wells, Goddard was interested in space flight. His contribution to rocket science was not truly appreciated in his own time. It was not until the 20thC Space Age that his contribution to Space Flight was recognised.

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center was named in Goddard’s honor in 1959. He was also inducted into the International Aerospace Hall of Fame in 1966, and the International Space Hall of Fame in 1976.

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