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    The founding father of modern rocketry

    Robert H. Goddard 1936 Typed Letter Signed Regarding Rocket Research. A one page letter, 8.5" x 11", on Goddard's Mescalero Ranch letterhead, Roswell, New Mexico, October 26, 1936, to a correspondent in Waltham, Massachusetts. Envelope of transmittal included. Text, in full: "Dear Sir:/ Progress is still being made on the/ rocket research, at present along the line of/ producing greatest lightness. You may be/ interested in reading my last report to the/ Smithsonian Institution, entitled 'The Liquid-/ Propellant Rocket,' published by them last/ March, which gives an outline of results./ Very truly yours,/ [signed] R. H. Goddard". Also included is a clipped book photo of Goddard and a strip of nine unused Goddard 8ยข Airmail stamps. Letter is fine with flattened mailing folds, a tiny chip at top margin, and age toning.

    Robert Hutchings Goddard (1882-1945) was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, and became interested in science at an early age. At age sixteen he read H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds which led to his lifelong dedication to the pursuit of space flight. By 1911, he had received his Ph.D. in Physics from Clark University and in 1914, Goddard was awarded his first two patents. U.S. Patent #1,102,653 described a multi-stage rocket and U.S. Patent #1,103,503 described a rocket fueled with gasoline and liquid nitrous oxide. Both are considered major milestones in the history of rocketry. His research on rocketry continued and, on March 16, 1926, he launched his first liquid fueled rocket in Auburn, Massachusetts. With the help of aviator Charles Lindbergh, Goddard received research funding from the Guggenheim family and he moved his base of operations to Roswell, New Mexico, in the summer of 1930. The period of the writing of this letter was a very productive time for him; twenty-four rockets were launched from his remote Mescalero Ranch location between 1935 and 1938. After the start of World War II, he moved to Annapolis to develop liquid-fueled rockets for jet-assisted takeoffs of aircraft. That work led to the development of the large rocket engines needed to launch the space age.




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    Auction Dates
    May, 2014
    14th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
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