H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds inspired Robert H. Goddard to study rocketry and
By the time he received his doctorate from Clark University in 1911, Goddard
had anticipated both solid- and liquid-propellant rocket engines and the
concept of the two-stage rocket. He also had considered the use of hydrogen and
oxygen, electric propulsion, and solar energy for propulsion.
In 1926 he launched the first liquid-propellant rocket at Auburn, MA. At
Roswell, NM, he launched a liquid-propellant rocket with instrumentation.
During World War II, Goddard directed the Bureau of Aeronautics of the U.S.
Navy. Although his work was ignored by the United States during the war,
Germany used his patents in development of its V-2 rockets.
The Goddard Space Flight Center at Greenbelt, MD, is named in his honor.