ROBERT H. GODDARD - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 03/07/1921 - HFSID 285802
ABOUT HIS ROCKET TO THE MOON. ROBERT H. GODDARD. Historically Important TLS: "R.H. Goddard", 1p, 8¼x11. Clark College, Worcester, Mass., 1921 March 7. To William L. Straus, Jr., Baltimore. On stationery listing Goddard and C.E.
Sale Price $10,200.00
ABOUT HIS ROCKET TO THE MOON. ROBERT H. GODDARD. Historically Important TLS: "R.H. Goddard", 1p, 8¼x11. Clark College, Worcester, Mass., 1921 March 7. To William L. Straus, Jr., Baltimore. On stationery listing Goddard and C.E. Melville as Professors in the Department of Physics of Clark College. In full: "In reply to your letter of March 3, I might say: 1) The work at present is confined to the construction of a small model and there is no immediate prospect of financing anything more than this. 2) Regarding your second question, I admit that there is no oxygen in the atmosphere on the moon, but beg to call attention to the fact that any of the commercial flash powders contain an oxygen-carrying compound, which is usually potassium chlorate. The experiment which has been given considerable publicity took this fact into account, the flashes being exploded in a glass container in which the pressure had been reduced to about 1/60 of atmospheric pressure." Goddard began experimenting with rockets in 1908, when he demonstrated that rockets could operate in a vacuum. In 1914, Goddard received two U.S. patents. One was for a rocket using liquid fuel. The other was for a two or three stage rocket using solid fuel. At his own expense, he began to make systematic studies about propulsion provided by various types of gunpowder. Smithsonian Miscellaneous Publication No. 2540 (January 1920) included Goddard's report entitled "A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes". In it, he detailed his search for methods of raising weather recording instruments higher than sounding balloons. In this search, he developed the mathematical theories of rocket propulsion. Towards the end of his 1920 report, Goddard outlined the possibility of a rocket reaching the Moon and exploding a load of flash powder there to mark its arrival. The press generally ignored the main part of the report and concentrated on Goddard's scientific proposal about a rocket flight to the Moon. "The New York Times", on January 13, 1920, wrote that everyone knew that space travel was impossible since without atmosphere to push against, a rocket could not move so much as an inch. Professor Goddard, it was clear, lacked "the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools" the "Times" concluded. In this letter, Dr. Goddard explains how, upon landing on the Moon, his rocket could explode flash powder with oxygen-carrying potassium chlorate. Five years after writing this letter, Goddard tested the first successful liquid fuel rocket. A liquid fuel rocket constructed on principles developed by Goddard landed humans on the Moon in 1969. Lightly shaded, rectangular shading touches signature. Overall, fine condition.
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