Goddard, Robert Hutchings

Goddard, Robert Hutchings

Goddard, Robert Hutchings, 1882-1945, American physicist and rocket expert, b. Worcester, Mass., grad. Worcester Polytechnic Institute (B.S., 1908), Ph.D. Clark Univ., 1911. From 1914 he was associated with Clark Univ., becoming a professor of physics in 1919. Goddard designed and built early high altitude rockets. In 1926 he completed and successfully fired the world's first liquid fuel rocket. He developed the first smokeless powder rocket, the first practical automatic steering device for rockets, and innumerable other rocket devices. He was one of the first to develop a general theory of rocket action and to prove experimentally the efficiency of rocket propulsion in a vacuum.

See his papers ed. by his wife, Esther C. Goddard (3 vol., 1970).

(born Oct. 5, 1882, Worcester, Mass., U.S.—died Aug. 10, 1945, Baltimore, Md.) U.S. inventor, regarded as the father of modern rocketry. He received his doctorate (1911) from Clark University, where he taught for much of his career. In laboratory work there, he proved that thrust and consequent propulsion can take place in a vacuum and was the first to develop a rocket engine using liquid propellants (static tested in 1925). In 1926 Goddard successfully launched the world's first liquid-fueled rocket (gasoline and liquid oxygen) from a farm in Massachusetts. In 1935, having relocated his testing site to New Mexico, he was the first to send a liquid-fueled rocket faster than the speed of sound. He patented the first practical automatic steering apparatus for rockets, developed staged rockets designed to gain great altitudes, and developed the first rocket-fuel pumps, self-cooling rocket engines, and other components of a propulsion system designed for space exploration. Much of his work anticipated that of Wernher von Braun in Germany but was ignored by the U.S. government until after his death at the end of World War II.

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Ambassador Robert Hutchings is Diplomat-in-Residence at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. Hutchings is best known as the former chair of the National Intelligence Council, a position he held from 2003 to 2005, during a leave of absence from Princeton. Hutchings joined the Princeton faculty in 1997, and his research interests include international relations, diplomacy, and European affairs.

Before coming to Princeton, Hutchings was a visiting scholar and director of international studies at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars from 1993 to 1997. From 1992-1993, he served as a special adviser to the Secretary of State with the rank of ambassador, managing the U.S. SEED Eastern European democracy assistance program. From 1989 to 1992, Hutchings served as the National Security Council's director for European affairs. Hutchings has also held positions at Radio Free Europe, Georgetown University, George Washington University, the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Virginia.

Hutchings has received the National Intelligence Medal, the U.S. State Department Superior Honor Award, and the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland.

A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Hutchings has also been an officer in the U.S. Navy. Hutchings received his PhD at the University of Virginia.


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