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Control Vane Assembly, Rocket, Liquid Fuel, Robert H. Goddard


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Rockets and Missiles exhibition at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Collection Item Summary:

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.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum


Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Robert H. Goddard


Overall, steel; ceramic or plaster over vanes


3-D: 38.6 x 8.3 x 10.2cm (15 3/16 x 3 1/4 x 4 in.)

Country of Origin

United States of America





Inventory Number


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