The Nation: Aiming at the Stars

"It looked almost magical as it rose, without any appreciably greater noise or flame, as if it said, I've been here long enough; I think I'll be going somewhere else, if you don't mind.' " Thus read the March 17, 1926 entry from the diary of Dr. Robert H. Goddard, an obscure physics professor and engineer. The day before, Goddard had launched the first liquid-fueled rocket from a field on his Aunt Effie's farm near Auburn, Mass. The 2½ sec. flight carried the rocket to a height of only 41 ft. and a speed of 60 m.p.h. But it convinced Goddard...

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