The Story of Robert Goddard, Father of Modern Rocketry

  • Released Friday, May 3rd, 2019
  • Updated Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023 at 1:45PM

Dr. Robert Hutchings Goddard (1882-1945) is considered the father of modern rocket propulsion. It is in his memory that NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, was established on May 1, 1959.

Music Credits: “Suburban Waltz” by Philip Guyler and “Unchartered Territories” by Phil Stevens

Complete transcript available.

Watch this video on the NASA Goddard YouTube channel.

Dr. Robert Hutchings Goddard (1882-1945) is considered the father of modern rocket propulsion. A physicist of great insight, Goddard also had a unique genius for invention. It is in memory of this brilliant scientist that NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, was established on May 1, 1959.

By 1926, Goddard had constructed and successfully tested the first rocket using liquid fuel. Indeed, the flight of Goddard’s rocket on March 16, 1926, at Auburn, Massachusetts, was as significant to history as that of the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk.

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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


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