Tuesday, 13 April 2010


Another brief from Blanket magazine here to create a response to the word ‘Cosmos.’ I’ve been researching a man called Robert Goddard. An American scientist, he’s considered one of the founding fathers of modern rocketry, he was experimenting with rockets and the idea of sending men into space as early as 1900, nearly seventy years before the American Apollo 11 mission would land on the moon. At the time of these experiments though Goddard wasn’t regarded as a pioneering scientist, he was ridiculed as a basket case. The New York times publicly denounced Goddard’s claims as farcical, citing that a rocket could not work in the vacuum of space as it would have nothing to push against, a claim already proven as untrue by Sir Isaac Newton long before that. After one failed rocket attempt a local paper even ran with the headline ‘Moon rocket misses target by 238,799 1/2 miles.’ Goddard was completely undeterred by this criticism and continued experimenting. America only began to take his work seriously after the Nazis began experimenting with rocket technology based around Goddard’s works. Later after the moon landing the New York Times wrote a full apology to Goddard but he never lived to see it or his ideas ever truly reach fruition. He would later have a NASA space flight centre named after him. The story of Robert Goddard was the inspiration for my piece; let’s hope they’ll take it!

‘The years forever fashion new dreams when old ones go. God pity the one-dream man.’

- Robert Goddard

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