Goddard Day

Goddard Day is observed next on Saturday, March 16th, 2024 (15 days from today).

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One of the most important inventions of mankind is the space rocket. Thanks to space rockets, humanity has discovered many new things outside the vast space. One of the important events in the field of rocketry was the successful construction of the first liquid fuel rocket on March 16, 1926 by the famous American physicist, Robert Hutchings Goddard. To commemorate this important event, March 16 of each year is chosen as Goddard Day, to honor physicist and scientist Robert Goddard in the creation of liquid fuel rockets that made an important contribution to the send people into space. Besides, Goddard Day is also known as a day to remind people of the contribution of Goddard, liquid fuel rocket to human civilization.

History of Goddard Day

On March 16, 1926, the first person to give hope to the dream of space travel was American scientist Robert H. Goddard, when he successfully tested the world's first liquid-fueled rocket at a space station. Auburn, Massachusetts. The rocket flew for 2.5 seconds at a speed of about 60 mph, reached an altitude of 12.5 m and landed 56 meters away. The rocket is 3.05 m high, is built from thin tubes, and uses liquid oxygen and gasoline as fuel.

In the early 13th century, the Chinese were the first to create gunpowder rockets for military use, and perhaps pyrotechnic rockets were made before that. Gunpowder rockets appeared in Europe around the 13th century, and by the 19th century, British engineers had made important advances in the early stages of rocket science.

In 1903, Russian inventor Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky published an essay on the theoretical problems of using rocket engines in space. But it was not until the launch of the Robert Goddard rocket in the 1920s that people began to build the modern liquid-fueled rocket that in the early 1960s sent humans into space.

Goddard, was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1882. He became interested in the idea of ​​space travel after reading the science fiction novel War of the Worlds (1898) by H.G. Wells. He began building gunpowder rockets in 1907, while a student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and continued to test rockets as a doctoral student and later a professor physics at Clark University. He was the first to demonstrate that rockets could fly in a vacuum and also the first to discover the energy and thrust of different fuels, including liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. He received a US patent for the concept of a multistage rocket and liquid fuel rocket, and received a grant from the Smithsonian Institution to continue his research.

In 1919, Goddard's classic essay, A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes, was published by the Smithsonian Institution. The essay outlines his mathematical theories about rocket engines and proposes the future launch of an unmanned rocket to the moon. However, the press mocked the scientist's idea of ​​a rocket to the moon. In January 1920, The New York Times published an editorial saying that Dr. Goddard "appears to lack the common sense taught in high school," because he thought rocket engines would work outside the atmosphere. (Three days before the first Apollo mission landed on the moon in July 1969, the newspaper published a correction of this editorial.)

In December 1925, Goddard tested a liquid-fueled rocket at Clark University's Department of Physics building. He wrote that the rocket, mounted on a fixed stand, "operated satisfactorily and ascended carrying its own weight." On March 16, 1926, Goddard tested the first liquid-fueled rocket at his Aunt Effie's farm in Auburn.

Goddard continued to work on rockets until his death in 1945. His work was recognized by pilot Charles A. Lindbergh, who helped him win a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation for his work. Guggenheim Fund for the Promotion of Aeronautics. Goddard used this grant to build a test site in Roswell, New Mexico, which operated from 1930 to 1942. During his time there, he successfully performed 31 test flights, in There was a rocket that reached an altitude of 2.7 km in just 22.3 seconds. While Goddard conducted the tests on his own without official support from the US government, the German side took the initiative in developing the missile. In September 1944, they used their V-2 cruise missile for the first time to wreak havoc on Britain. During the war, Goddard developed a jet engine to help launch the US Navy's seaplanes.

NASA's Goddard Space Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, has been named after Goddard in his honor.

Observing Goddard Day

Let's Honor Robert Goddard on Goddard Day. You can watch Goddard documentaries to learn more about his life and great contributions to the field of space rockets. You can also go to NASA's home page and find more information about the rocket tests that Goddard has conducted. Share your information and insights with the hashtag #GoddardDay.


Goddard Day has been observed annually on March 16th.


Wednesday, March 16th, 2022

Thursday, March 16th, 2023

Saturday, March 16th, 2024

Sunday, March 16th, 2025

Monday, March 16th, 2026

Also on Saturday, March 16th, 2024

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