Goddard May 1926 Rocket

Goddard’s work demonstrated that liquid-fueled rockets were the best possible way to achieve space travel.

Display Status:

This object is on display in the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Collection Item Summary:

This rocket was designed and built by U.S. rocket experimenter Robert H. Goddard. It was Goddard's first in which the motor was placed at the base since he found that his previously "nose driven" rockets with the motor underneath the nose, were inherently unstable. The rocket was tested at Auburn, Mass., on 4 May 1926 but failed to lift.

Another attempt at launch was made the following day, also without success. It was concluded that the rocket was too small to permit refinements and it was decided to abandon this design and build larger rockets. This rocket was donated to the Smithsonian by the Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Foundation for the Promotion of Aeronautics in 1985.

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 Daniel & Florence Guggenheim Foundation


Aluminum alloy, steel, asbestos wrapping around pipes


Overall: 195.6 × 14cm (6 ft. 5 in. × 5 1/2 in.)

Country of Origin

United States of America




CRAFT-Missiles & Rockets

Inventory Number


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