Dr. Robert Hutchings Goddard is considered the father of modern rocket propulsion. By 1926, Goddard had constructed and successfully tested the first rocket using liquid fuel. Indeed, the flight of Goddard’s rocket on March 16, 1926, at Auburn, Massachusetts, was as significant to history as that of the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk.
Primitive in their day as the achievement of the Wrights, Goddard’s rockets made little impression on government officials. Only through modest subsidies from the Smithsonian Institution and the Daniel Guggenheim Foundation, as well as the leaves of absence granted him by the Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Clark University, was Goddard able to sustain his lifetime of devoted research and testing.