Liquid-Propellant Rocket Development
THE author of the accompanying article is the dean of scientific experimenters on the high efficiency rocket as a means of propulsion wholly independent of the air—a reaction motor. He began theoretical work in 1912 when an instructor in physics at
Princeton, patented a "rocket apparatus" in 1914 (U.S. Patents No. 1,102,653 and 1,103,503), made actual experiments in 1915 when an assistant professor of physics at Clark University, and in 1919 the Smithsonian Institution published his first progress paper, "A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes," describing his preliminary experiments. He is now Director of the Physics Laboratory at the same university. The accompanying paper is published by permission of the Smithsonian Institution, and is Dr. Goddard's second official progress paper on his work. It is conservative; the author never has been inclined to rush into print with hopes and great expectations, and even now he describes only what has actually been accomplished in his experiments. In a recent editorial comment, Nature (London), the world's foremost non-popular journal of general science, states: "It is good to hear that such experiments are being carried out, and the sober objectivity of Dr. Goddard's work presents a sharp contrast to the unscientific imagination exhibited by those who seek to direct attention to the advent of interplanetary travel before the preliminary investigations that might throw light upon its possibility or otherwise have been completed." Some other writers on rocketry are far ahead of Dr. Goddard and almost, in fact, on Mars already-in books.—The Editor.