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    The founding father of modern rocketry

    Robert H. Goddard 1938 Typed Letter Signed Regarding Early Rocketry, with JSA Letter of Authenticity. A one-page letter, 8.5" x 11", on Goddard's Mescalero Ranch letterhead, Roswell, New Mexico, November 13, 1938, to a correspondent in Medford, Massachusetts. Text, in full:

    "Dear Mr. Flint: It has been necessary, so far, to place most emphasis on flight performance, and such matters as the rocket motor have accordingly not received as much attention as it is desirable they should have. For this reason, I have not done much further work along this line since I I wrote you, but have concentrated on stabilization during and after propulsion, and parachute release. I hope, however, that it will be possible to carry rocket motor development further at a later time. Appreciating your continued interest, I am Very truly yours, [signed] R.H. Goddard".

    Letter is three-hole punched and lightly toned with flattened mailing folds. JSA full certificate included. About fine.

    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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