This note accompanies the follow episode(s):
The Writer’s Almanac for October 5, 2017: Some Advice for Clearing Brush

October 5, 2017: birthday: Robert Hutchings Goddard

It’s the birthday of scientist Robert Hutchings Goddard, born in Worcester, Massachusetts (1882), who is known as the “Father of the Space Age.” From childhood, Goddard had been fascinated by space travel, finding inspiration in part from H.G. Wells’s War of the Worlds. He began studying physics at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and as a student he decided that the most effective propellant would be a combination of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. In 1926, he discovered an even more effective liquid fuel combination: gasoline and liquid oxygen. He launched the world’s first liquid-propelled rocket, a small device that went up 41 feet and landed 184 feet away. In 1930, Goddard moved his operations to Roswell, New Mexico, establishing the world’s first professional rocket proving ground.