27th May 2024

World’s first liquid-fuelled rocket and the man behind it

liquid-fuelled rocket

Robert H. Goddard

16 March 1926. The world’s first liquid-fuelled rocket lifts off at Auburn, Massachusetts, paving the way for an era of space flight and innovation. And the man behind the feat is the American engineer and founding father of modern rocketry Robert H. Goddard (1882–1945).

As a child Robert drew fascination from science around him in various forms. He was greatly inspired by H.G. Wells’ science-fiction novel The War of the Worlds which furthered his fondness for space. His greatest inspiration, however, was his ‘cherry tree dream’ – the possibility of reaching the Mars – which he came upon while climbing a cherry tree.

‘I was a different boy when I descended the tree from when I ascended.’

Robert H. Goddard has 214 patented inventions to his name, which also includes the multi-stage rocket. ‘The usher of the Space Age’ also authored a monograph A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes (1919) – a classic in the field of rocket science.

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