Remembering Robert Goddard
The world has been abuzz over NASA’s latest accomplishment – the successful landing of Curiosity on the surface of Mars. NASA’s rover has already started sending images back of the red planet. Considered one of the most ambitious planetary missions in history, scientists hope to investigate whether life ever existed on the planet. However, without the scientific breakthroughs of physicist and inventor Robert Goddard, none of this may have ever been possible. Known as one of the founding fathers of modern rocketry, Goddard is credited with creating and building the world’s first liquid-fueled rocket. It was his pioneering work that helped make spaceflight possible. Pictured to the right, Goddard launched the rocket on March 16, 1926.
Today we remember Robert H. Goddard, who died on August 10, 1942 at the age of 62 in Baltimore, Maryland. Check out some documents from his family tree below!
Goddard was born on October 5, 1882 in Worcester, Massachusetts to Nahum D. Goddard and Fannie L. Hoyt. According to the Massachusetts Town Vital Records, both of his parents were also born in Worcester and his father was a book keeper.
Goddard last appeared in the U.S. Federal Census in 1940. He was living in Roswell, New Mexico with his wife, Esther, and his mother-in-law, Augusta Kisk. During the 1930s, he relocated to the infamous city to work with his team of technicians on his rocket experiments. Note his occupation is listed as Professor of Physics. In the supplementary questions, you can also learn that both of Esther Goddard’s parents were born in Sweden.