Rocket, Solid Fuel, Smokeless Powder, R.H. Goddard

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    Rocket, Solid Fuel, Smokeless Powder, R.H. Goddard

    Cylindrical with pointed warhead; overall, assembled in three sections: warhead ton top or front, with ogival nose; motor section in middle, straight cylinder, with 0.5 in. o.d. connecting band at end; and last section, cone-shaped exhaust nozzle attached to motor section, and tapering down from 0.5 in. o.d. to 0.75 o.d. at end; overall, shiny metal throughout; note that warhead section can be screwed off, with 0.5. p.d. threaded section, revealing hollow motor and nozzle section, but warhead section closed off at base by small dia. brown steel disc, possible a rusted insert

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Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

This is a 1-inch solid fuel rocket built and tested by U.S. rocket pioneer Robert H. Goddard during 1917-1918 for the U.S. Army for potential use as a weapon during World War I. The experiments were undertaken near the Mount Wilson Observatory in Pasadena, California. Later, a trial was made before Army officers at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Aberdeen, Maryland, on 6 November 1918.

The trials went well and this model reached about 750 yards. However, the following day the armistice was signed that ended the war as well as the Army's interest in this project. Goddard switched to liquid propellants in 1921. This object was donated to the Smithsonian by the Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Foundation for the Promotion of Aeronautics in 1985.