NASA was quite in a festive mood lately. According to the US space agency’s statements, NASA is currently celebrating the lifetime achievements of Professor Robert Goddard, also known as the father of space flight. Moreover, NASA also said that the 16th of March is a day that will forever go down in the history of present and future space ventures.
According to a recent statement, NASA has celebrated ninety years since Robert Goddard, an MIT professor, launched the first liquid-fueled rocket into the air.
On the 16th of March, 1926, Robert Goddard, an esteemed professor at MIT, managed to start the prototype of a novel craft. Earlier propulsion systems, like the Chinese rockets, invented in the 13th century, relied on solid-based fuel to achieve thrust and velocity.
Robert Goddard, who was more a visionary and a dreamer than a textbook scientist, wanted to travel into outer space. Although he was ridiculed his entire life for his aspiration, much like the Wright brothers, the professor managed to prove his critics wrong.
The MIT teacher dreamt about spaceflight ever since 1909. Back then, the future scientist began to sketch the first interplanetary vehicle. However, as history teaches us, the journey towards liquid-based propulsion was long and littered with many obstacles.
Before Goddard could even think about space, he had to think of a way to offer an interplanetary vehicle the necessary thrust to pass through the atmosphere.
As we stated before, the MIT professor was intimately acquainted with the ups and down of solid-fueled propulsion, an invention that dates back to the 13th century. The rocket concept was invented by Chinese engineers, which used gunpowder as fuel to propel the gigantic weapons straight into the enemy lines.
The professor knew that the key to this whole dilemma resided in what fueled the rocket. And so, after 17 years of work, Goddard finally managed to come up with a working prototype. According to his press statements, the key to the whole issue was to find a way to mix the rocket’s fuel with oxygen. Lack of oxygen would have meant that the fuel wouldn’t have burned fast enough to imprint the rocket with the necessary thrust.
But before discovering the key to producing an oxygen-rich liquid fuel, the MIT teachers experimented with different liquid fuels such as gasoline and liquid oxygen.
After figuring out the correct intermix, the professor set up a little public demonstration. On 16th of March 1926, Goddard’s liquid-fueled rocket went up into the air. And this is how the era of space exploration began.
For his lifetime achievements, which included more than 200 inventions, on the 16th of March, NASA celebrated the first liquid-fueled flight and Goddard’s achievements.