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Profile of the Day: Robert H. Goddard

Profile of the Day: Robert H. Goddard

Robert H. Goddard

On this day in 1882, American engineer, physicist, and inventor Robert H. Goddard was born in Worcester, Massachusetts. Known as the “Father of Modern Rocketry,” Goddard is credited with building and launching the world’s first liquid-fueled rocket.

Goddard was born Robert Hutchings Goddard on October 5, 1882 to Nahum Danford Goddard, a bookkeeper, and Fannie Louise Hoyt. Inspired by H.G. Wells’ novel, The War of the Worlds, Goddard became intrigued with the idea of space at a young age. In fact, Goddard named October 19, 1899 as his “Anniversary Day.” On that day, Goddard climbed his cherry tree in his backyard and imagined a device that had the possibility of ascending to Mars. For the rest of his life, Goddard commemorated the day of his greatest inspiration.

In 1926, Goddard successfully tested his first rocket using liquid fuel. He spent the rest of his life perfecting his invention and believed that one day it could be used to fly to the moon. Unfortunately, Goddard’s work was ridiculed by the press for what was believed to be fart-fetched ideas of spaceflight. It was not until the dawn of the Space Age after his death that Goddard’s pioneering achievements were finally recognized.

Explore Robert H. Goddard’s family tree on Geni and share how you’re connected to the rocket pioneer!

View Robert H. Goddard’s Geni Profile


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Image: San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive


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