roar! roar!

CHRISTOPHER MCKITTERICK

ROCKETS &
SPACESHIPS

Goddard and crew at work

YOU GOTTA LOVE 'em: the violent machines that carry people and their stuff into space and beyond. Here's a gallery of great scaffolds to the stars. Inspirational stuff for writing hard SF.

When I was a kid, my hero was Robert Goddard, the American spaceflight pioneer (left in photo). He built and flew the first liquid-fueled rocket, causing a great uproar in the little East-coast town where it launched. Here's a photo of him at work on one of his middle-period rockets, when they were getting pretty advanced -- in-flight gyro correction, 02 generators, high-powered turbopumps, long-lasting engines, wire-wound aluminum fuel tanks... great stuff! Reading about him fired my imagination, and Goddard as much as Heinlein or Asimov drove me toward writing SF.

If we had continued along the path Goddard was blazing, we'd have landed on the Moon in the 40's (well, there was a little war during that time...) or 50's, and built colonies there in the 70's. At least, that's what it felt like to live during these times. Goddard was a dreamer, but also a careful engineer and a realist. He died far too young, before we even put up Sputnik. He did get to see his competition in von Braun's V-2s, though.

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YOU ARE GUEST 1020 . THANKS FOR VISITING! UPDATED 10/16/2007. CHECK BACK FOR UPDATES.

 
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