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:
National Air and Space Museum
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
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.)
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Country of Origin
United States of America