“HE LAID THE FOUNDATION FROM WHICH TEAM WORKERS COULD LAUNCH MEN TO THE MOON”: FIRST EDITION OF GODDARD’S LIQUID-PROPELLANT ROCKET DEVELOPMENT, 1936
GODDARD, Robert H. Liquid-Propellant Rocket Development. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, March 16, 1936. Octavo, modern full burgundy cloth gilt. $3200.
First separate edition of Goddard’s research on rocket fuel, containing “the first public mention of his historic 1926 liquid-fueled rocket launch” (Ciancone 85), with 11 pages of black-and-white photographs.
On March 16, 1926, Goddard "flew the world's first liquid propellant rocket from a site near Auburn, Massachusetts. The ten-foot rocket, with the engine mounted on the nose, reached an altitude of 41 feet, traveled 184 feet over the ground, and landed 2.5 seconds after lift-off… Fearful that his ideas would be stolen by unscrupulous rivals, Goddard refused to share the details of his technology with other experimenters. His most significant publication after 1919, Liquid Propellant Rocket Development, which appeared in a March 1936 issue of the Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, contained so little specific information that it was of limited value to other rocket experimenters" (ANB). Nevertheless, "Goddard became posthumously world-famous as one of three scientific pioneers of rocketry… He laid the foundation from which team workers could launch men to the moon" (DSB V:433). "Gift of U.S. Govt." inkstamp to copyright page.
Occasional light soiling to interior. About-fine condition.