Test Tubes, Ion Propulsion, R.H. Goddard

Test Tubes, Ion Propulsion, R.H. Goddard

     

American rocket pioneer Robert Goddard (1882-1945) used this device between 1924 and 1928 in his experiments to determine the feasibility of ion propulsion for space travel. Ion engines, in which electrically charged particles of atoms are discharged, produce extremely high exhaust velocities. Experiments in space with ion propulsion first took place in 1964.

Russell B. Hastings, one of Goddard's graduate students at the time, described this artifact in 1964 as an "ion apparatus probably used by [Louis M.] Sleeper [another of Goddard's graduate students] or somebody subsequent to Mr. Hastingsā€¦. The collecting screen is smaller, closer to the electrode, and obviously connects to an extended device, such as an electrometer." Mrs. Goddard gave this artifact to the Smithsonian in 1965 as part of a set of laboratory glassware from her husband's pioneering ion-propulsion experiments.

Gift of Mrs. Robert Goddard

Country of Origin
United States of America

Manufacturer
Dr. Robert H. Goddard

Type
PROPULSION-Miscellaneous

Materials
Glass
Wax or Phenolic Resin?
Brass
Steel
Paper
Ink
Synthetic Fabric
Cotton
Rubber
Wood
Recorded prior to CCPF Assessment Survey of 05/31/2012:
Overall, glass; two hollow copper tubes projecting from their tops, from lump of hardened black sealing wax or ceramic; steel clamps around each set of these copper tubes; copper-colored wire mesh cylinder inside larger tube.
Dimensions
41.91 x 42.55 x 6.35cm (1ft 4 1/2in. x 1ft 4 3/4in. x 2 1/2in.) (Approximate)

American rocket pioneer Robert Goddard (1882-1945) used this device between 1924 and 1928 in his experiments to determine the feasibility of ion propulsion for space travel. Ion engines, in which electrically charged particles of atoms are discharged, produce extremely high exhaust velocities. Experiments in space with ion propulsion first took place in 1964.

Russell B. Hastings, one of Goddard's graduate students at the time, described this artifact in 1964 as an "ion apparatus probably used by [Louis M.] Sleeper [another of Goddard's graduate students] or somebody subsequent to Mr. Hastingsā€¦. The collecting screen is smaller, closer to the electrode, and obviously connects to an extended device, such as an electrometer." Mrs. Goddard gave this artifact to the Smithsonian in 1965 as part of a set of laboratory glassware from her husband's pioneering ion-propulsion experiments.

Gift of Mrs. Robert Goddard

Country of Origin
United States of America

Manufacturer
Dr. Robert H. Goddard

Type
PROPULSION-Miscellaneous

Materials
Glass
Wax or Phenolic Resin?
Brass
Steel
Paper
Ink
Synthetic Fabric
Cotton
Rubber
Wood
Recorded prior to CCPF Assessment Survey of 05/31/2012:
Overall, glass; two hollow copper tubes projecting from their tops, from lump of hardened black sealing wax or ceramic; steel clamps around each set of these copper tubes; copper-colored wire mesh cylinder inside larger tube.
Dimensions
41.91 x 42.55 x 6.35cm (1ft 4 1/2in. x 1ft 4 3/4in. x 2 1/2in.) (Approximate)

ID: A19650307000