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Milestones of Flight Gallery


The sign by the Goddard rockets. It reads

First Successful Liquid-Propellant Rocket

Robert H. Goddard is considered the father of American rocketry. Working alone and reluctant to publicize his activity, Goddard experimented with liquid-propellant rockets before anyone else.

Displayed here is a full-scale replica of his original rocket, launched on March 16, 1926. Unlike present rockets, the engine is at the top of the vehicle and fuel tanks are below. Beside it is a more sophisticated rocket from a series tested from 1939 through 1941. Part of its casing has been removed to reveal some of the internal features found in most modern rocket designs.

1926 rocket transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

1941 rocket gift of the Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Foundation

1926 rocket
Length: 3.4 m (11 ft 3 in)
Weight, fueld: 4.7 kg (10.4 lb)
Thrust: 40 newtons (9 lb) estimated

1941 rocket
Length: 6.7 m (22 ft)
Weight, fueld: 205 kg (442 lb)
Thrust: 4,380 newtons (985 lb)

The 1926 rocket is NASM catalog #A19761803000 and the 1941 rocket is #A19850177000.

Goddard 1926 and 1941 rockets sign in the Milestones of Flight gallery at the National Air & Space Museum
Time picture taken Tue Jun 19 10:37:30 2007
Location picture taken Second Floor Balcony
Overlooking Milestones of Flight Gallery
National Air & Space Museum
Washington, DC
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