This page no longer updated from 31 October 2001. Latest version can be found at Goddard

Robert H. Goddard was the father of American rocketry. After his experiments with liquid fueled rockets alarmed the local authorities in Massachusetts, he was sponsored by Guggenheim and Charles Lindbergh to continue his experiments in Roswell, New Mexico. Secretive, working in isolation, unwilling to work in the necessary large industrial teams required for the new technology, he solved all the fundamental problems of guided rockets - but his work represented a dead end. Parallel work by Von Braun in Germany and at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena duplicated his discovereis and led to post-war rocketry in Russia, Europe, and America.

Launch Vehicle: Goddard 1. Rocket used by Goddard to achieve the first flight of a liquid-propellant rocket.

Launch Vehicle: Goddard 2.

After several tests indicating the model was too small to permit refinements, Goddard decided to build a rocket twenty-fold larger. During 1926 a new tower was built, and flow regulators, multiple liquid injection into large combustion chambers, means for measurement of pressure and lifting force, electrically fired igniter, and turntable for rotation were developed.

Launch Vehicle: Goddard 3. First instrumented liquid fuel rocket. Length 11 ft 6 in.; maximum diameter 26 in.; weight 32 lb; gasoline 14 lb; liquid oxygen 11 lb; total loaded weight 57 lb.

Launch Vehicle: Goddard 4. Goddard rocket using pressure-fed Lox/Gasoline propellants, streamline casing, and remote control guidance. Masses varied; typical values indicated.

Launch Vehicle: Goddard A. The A series rockets used simple pressure feed, gyroscopic control by means of vanes, and parachute. The rockets in this series averaged in length from 4.11 m to 4.65 m.; their weight empty varied from 26 kg to 39 kg.

Launch Vehicle: Goddard K. This consisted of ten proving-stand tests for the development of a more powerful motor, 10 in. in diameter. Weight of rocket, about 225 lb; weight of fuels, 50-70 lb for the series.

Launch Vehicle: Goddard L-A.

Tests of the Goddard L Section A covered development of a nitrogen-pressured flight rocket using 10 in, motors based on the K series and ran from May 11 to November 7, 1936 (L1-L7). Length of the L Series Section A rockets varied from 10 ft 11 in, to 13 ft 6 1/2 in.; diameter 18 in.; empty weight 120 to 202 lb; loaded weight 295 to 360 lb; weight oxygen about 78 lb; weight gasoline 84 lb; weight nitrogen, 4 lb.

Launch Vehicle: Goddard L-B.

The L-B series were check tests of 5.75-in.-diameter chambers with fuels of various volatilities; development of tilting cap parachute release; tests of various forms of exposed movable air vanes; test of retractable air vanes and parachute with heavy shroud lines. The series ran from November 24, 1930-May 19, 1937 (L8-L15). Final results of Section B of L Series showed two proving-stand tests, and six flight test attempts, all of which resulted in flights. Average interval between tests 22 days.

Launch Vehicle: Goddard L-C.

Series L Section C rockets included light tank construction, movable-tailpiece (i.e. gimbal) steering, catapult launching, and further development of liquid nitrogen tank pressure method. Lengths varied from 17 ft 4.25 in. to 18 ft 5.75 in.; diameter 9 in., weight empty varied from 80 to 109 lb; loaded weight about 170 lb or more; lift of static tests varied from 228 lb to 477 lb; jet velocities from 3960 to 5340 ft/sec.

Launch Vehicle: Goddard P-C.

Section C tests would run through October 10, 1941 and represent the final Goddard rocket flight tests. The series of twenty-four static and flight tests (P13-P36) was made with rockets of large fuel capacity, with the rocket motor, pumps, and turbines previously developed. These rockets averaged nearly 22 ft in length, and were 18 in, in diameter. They weighed empty from 190 to 240 lb. The liquid-oxygen load averaged about 140 lb, the gasoline 112 lb, making "quarter-ton" loaded rockets.

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Last update 3 May 2001.
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© Mark Wade, 2001 .