Robert Goddard

1997 Paradise Pisces

Rocket Scientist


Goddard was essentially the absent father of the rocket age. Born and raised in Massachusetts he received his doctorate from Clark University in Worcester in 1911. Except for a brief teaching job at Princeton, he spent the next 30 years teaching at Clark.

In the early 1900s, as an undergraduate student and inspired by his science fiction reading, especially books by H.G. Wells, Goddard theorized a train transportation system between Boston and New York that would take ten minutes. The concept was based on having the train travel in a vacuum, pulled by an electromagnetic field. Alas, in the 1990s, the Amtrak ride between the two cities still takes four hours.

Goddard's interest in rocketry was directly related to his fascination with space travel. In 1919 he published a short paper entitled A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes which is one of the first attempts to describe space travel to the Moon.

In 1926, Goddard launched his first rocket which stood approximately four feet height and measured approximately six inches in diameter. In 1929, Goddard launched the first known instrument carrying rocket when he sent up a missile with a thermometer, barometer, and a camera attached.

Extremely reclusive, Goddard consistently guarded his research unwilling to share his work with other like-minded pioneers. His influence on the development of rocket science is considerable but it might have been even greater had he been less hermetic.

1997 Paradise Pisces Roster

Aeronautics - Dr. Robert H. Goddard

UCLA Space Projects Group - The Goddard Quote

Robert Goddard-First Rocket

Goddard- Cosmic Baseball Player Plate
Published: October 30, 1996
Updated: October 23, 2000

© 2000 by the Cosmic Baseball Association