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
Dr. Robert H. Goddard
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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National Air and Space Museum Collection
Country of Origin
United States of America