The following is a statement by NASA Administrator
Daniel S. Goldin regarding the 75th anniversary of Dr. Robert
H. Goddard’s first successful liquid-fueled rocket launch.

“Once publicly ridiculed for his vision to boldly expand the
frontier of space, Dr. Robert Goddard inspired a new
generation of explorers on this date in 1926. Dr. Goddard
initially expressed interest in rockets in 1899, when he was
just 17 years old. By 1915, he had developed the detailed
mathematical theory of rocket propulsion and proved rocket
engines could produce thrust in a vacuum, making space flight

“Dr. Goddard’s first work on rockets made little impression
on the scientific community and government leaders. Only
through modest subsidies and leaves of absence from his
university duties was he able to sustain his lifetime of
devoted research and testing.

“At the time of his death in 1945, Dr. Goddard held 214
patents in rocketry, and in memory of this brilliant
innovator, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center was established
in 1959 in Greenbelt, Maryland.

“Dr. Goddard once said every vision is a joke, until the
first man accomplishes it. NASA honors his vision through our
continued leadership in aerospace technology and Earth and
Space sciences. We work each day to expand knowledge of our
planet and its environment, the solar system and the
universe. This Agency is committed to future excellence in
scientific investigation, the advancement of education, the
safe development and operation of space systems, and in
providing the inspiration for the next generation of rocket

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