90 years ago today Robert Goddard launched his first liquid fueled rocket. Powered by a mixture of liquid oxygen and gasoline the rocket reportedly rose 41 feet (~12 meters) and traveled 184 feet (56 meters) before landing in a cabbage patch.
Goddard’s diary entry:
March 17, 1926. The first flight with a rocket using liquid propellants was made yesterday at Aunt Effie’s farm in Auburn…. Even though the release was pulled, the rocket did not rise at first, but the flame came out, and there was a steady roar. After a number of seconds it rose, slowly until it cleared the frame, and then at express train speed, curving over to the left, and striking the ice and snow, still going at a rapid rate — Lehman, Milton (1963). “This High Man: The Life of Robert H. Goddard”. New York, NY: Farrar, Strauss, and Co..
Today, 90 years later we have space probes: at the extreme edge of the solar system, orbiting comets and moons and planets, we have put robotic travelers on other worlds and it all started on Aunt Effie’s farm.
Video from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum