Military Review



90 years ago, 16 March 1926, the American inventor Robert Goddard launched the world's first liquid-fuel rocket. And although it was just a small and clumsy experimental model that took off only 12 meters, in fact it was the prototype of all current space rockets.

The model had the original "frame" scheme. To ensure stability in flight, Goddard placed the engine at the top, and the tanks with fuel and oxidant at the bottom. The fuel was gasoline, the oxidizer was liquid oxygen, the supply of these substances to the combustion chamber was carried out with compressed nitrogen, that is, an engine power supply circuit was used, which is still used in many liquid-propellant rockets. On the screen saver on the left - Goddard with his first product shortly before launch. On the right - the second, enlarged model, launched in a month.

The American leadership did not appreciate the promise of Goddard’s “toys”. Despite repeated requests, he did not receive support from the state and was forced to do his research on teaching earnings and money from sponsors, which were constantly lacking. However, in 1926 - 1942, he built and tested 35 of various missiles with several assistants who worked "for the idea". Despite the fact that these missiles were made, as they say, "on the knee", in a poorly equipped workshop and for a penny, many technical solutions were used in them for the first time, which later became classics of the world rocket production industry.

To stabilize the flight, gas rudders used from the gyroscopic autopilot were used, the combustion chamber and the engine nozzle were cooled with fuel components, and in 1936, Goddard first built and tested a multi-chamber rocket engine. In 1938, he decided to replace the pressure system with turbopumps, which made the missile much lighter, but could not find a company that would agree to make the appropriate unit with the necessary parameters for a little money.

The highest result of all Goddard rockets was reached by the LB product, which 27 February 1937 of the year soared to an altitude of about 3000 meters. Meanwhile, since the beginning of the 1930-s in Germany, similar surveys have also been conducted, and there they had generous state funding. The rocket program employed hundreds of engineers and technicians who had everything they needed, right down to entire factories. It is not surprising that by the end of the decade the Germans were far ahead of the American "lone handicraftsman". As early as December 1937, the A-3 rocket reached an altitude of 12 km, while in 1942 the next model A-4 went up 83 kilometers and fell 193 kilometers from the launch point. Goddard did not even dream of such results.

Later, on the basis of A-4, they made a combat ballistic missile V-2, which became one of the technical sensations of the Second World War, but this is another история.

One of the early Goddard rockets without a shell. The engine is clearly visible (still shirtless cooling), as well as welded tanks for fuel, oxidizer and compressed nitrogen.

Build a larger rocket on the stocks.

Goddard (second from right) and his volunteers pose with a rocket "type 4", which has risen to 610 meters.

Missile delivery to the launch position. Everything is very modest, in a rustic way.

The power plant of the rocket with four combustion chambers, launched in November 1936 year. Unfortunately, this rocket took off just 60 meters and exploded.

The tail of one of the most advanced Goddard rockets with gas and aerodynamic rudders.
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  1. Signaller
    Signaller 26 March 2016 06: 05
    Honestly, I envy people who are stubborn. Especially in this path. He personally did the excursions in childhood. (written correctly excrement). Therefore, it’s an energetic, not a missile.
    1. Byshido_dis
      Byshido_dis 26 March 2016 12: 42
      American propaganda in action, with a choke, is essentially telling about unsuccessful experiments of farmers ... apparently they decided to keep silent about the FAA ...

      About FIRST American Astronauts и Astronaut everyone heard? Here from the same series))
      1. Kenneth
        Kenneth 26 March 2016 19: 23
        Calm your patriotism - it is out of place. The first LRE was made by the American Goddard. And nothing can be done about it. Our, and German developments were made later.
        1. warriordima
          warriordima 30 March 2016 00: 30
          Unfortunately, our reality often does not allow justice)), and it turns out that the name does not come from the one who invented, but from the one who filed the patent and promoted the invention in the media. This is usually due to the lack of money from talented people. when the whole world was put on a money needle, everything is for sale and everything is bought, and the Russian people are not traders by nature, and the defenders are here we are outsiders at the capitalist developed West., well, this is not our battlefield, here we play by the rules of others and marked cards.
          1. Foofighter
            Foofighter April 4 2016 21: 19
            The main thing is not about the "outsiders" Koroleva (and even a little founder) Tsiolkovskaya :-)
  2. Amurets
    Amurets 26 March 2016 09: 00
    Unfortunately, very little is known about the works of Robert Goddard, although I learned about him in childhood from books about Tsiolkovsky, Zander. Very little has been written about him. And only from this article I found out who was the first to apply technical solutions that became classics. For some reason, much is attributed to the Germans. Article plus.
  3. drags33
    drags33 26 March 2016 09: 03
    Everything new is created by selfless labor of ascetics, who love their job ... The first engine of Rudolph Diesel worked for only 3 (!) Minutes, after which the head collapsed and R. Diesel himself was almost killed by fragments. The ascetics (and there are less than 1% of the total mass of people) see much further than all of humanity. And it is with their hard work that they advance humanity along the path of progress in all spheres of human life.
  4. engineer
    engineer 26 March 2016 14: 30
    And there are a lot of these ascetics. Any invention is not born in one ge
    nialnoy head, and many. Then the struggle for priority. And the difference is 3-5 years maximum. Knowledge is not achieved alone. Newton himself said: I could see further, because I stood on the shoulders of giants.
  5. The comment was deleted.
  6. dakty
    dakty 27 March 2016 14: 39
    In my opinion there was a film about him. I don’t remember the name.
    Bow to such people! It is these people who move mankind forward. Without them, mammoths would still be driven ...
  7. Disorder
    Disorder 31 March 2016 05: 26
    Meanwhile, since the beginning of the 1930s, similar studies were also conducted in Germany

    In 1923, Professor G. Obert published the work "Rocket into Outer Space", which, among other things, contains projects of two-component liquid-propellant engines.
    Patent No. 484 064 dated 24.1926 "Liquid fuel gas rocket", issued to G. Schneider.
    In June 1927, the Society for Interplanetary Communications was organized in Breslau with the monthly magazine Raketa.
    Mismatch is obtained. It is possible that from the beginning of the 30s Goddard began to be interested in German developments, because it was at this time that the first German liquid rockets appeared.