Collection Item Summary:
This tank was part of a static test of a rocket engine made by rocket pioneer Robert H. Goddard at Roswell, New Mexico, in 1931. The tank held liquid oxygen. The gasolene fuel was kept in a separate tank. Both tanks fed the propellants into the engine's combustion chamber for firing.
During the test, according to Goddard's notes, the flame was "short, noisy, and intensely white" and lasted for 15 seconds. The thrust was from 30-40 pounds. After the test, the oxygen tank was cut along the sides for inspection, which accounts for the rectangular hole. The tank 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
Copper alloy on top; asbestos lining directly underneath; steel lining beneath this; aluminum rod throughout length of tank, in interior; soldered around front dome and bottom dome with high tin content solder
Overall: 1 ft. 4 in. long x 5 in. diameter (40.64 x 12.7cm)
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National Air and Space Museum Collection
Country of Origin
United States of America
PROPULSION-Accessories (to an Engine)