This object is on display in the Rockets and Missiles exhibition station at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.
Dr. Robert H. Goddard
Country of Origin: United States of America
Dimensions: 3-D: 38.6 x 8.3 x 10.2cm (15 3/16 x 3 1/4 x 4 in.)
Materials: Overall, steel; ceramic or plaster over vanes
This device, made by U.S. rocket pioneer Robert H. Goddard, was part of his system of controllable vanes in the exhaust path of a rocket. The vanes were linked to a gyroscope within the rocket's nose in order the stabilize the rocket in flight. The rocket first using this system was successfully launched on 30 December 1930 and reached a height of 2,000 feet.
A similar although more complex arrangement was used in the German V-2 rocket of World War II. However, Goddard's control vane system was not connected with the development of the system on the V-2. This object was donated to the Smithsonian in 1959 by Esther C. Goddard.
Gift of Mrs. Robert H. Goddard
Inventory number: A19590075000