Rocket Scientist ROBERT GODDARD

He launched the space age with a 10-ft. rocket in a New England cabbage field

Robert Goddard was not a happy man when he read his copy of the New York Times on Jan. 13, 1920. For some time, he had feared he might be in for a pasting in the press, but when he picked up the paper that day, he was stunned.

Not long before, Goddard, a physics professor at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., had published an arid little paper on an outrageous topic, rocket travel. Unlike most of his colleagues, Goddard believed rocketry was a viable technology, and his paper, primly titled "A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes," was designed to prove...

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