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Autor: anton • December 17, 2010 • 255 Words (2 Pages) • 457 Views
Robert Goddard was born in Worcester, Massachusetts to Nahum Parks Goddard and Fannie Louise Hoyt. Robert was their only child. As the age of electric power began to take shape in U.S. cities in the 1880s, the young Goddard became interested in science. When his father showed him how to generate static electricity on the family's carpet, the five-year-old's imagination was inspired. Robert experimented, believing he could jump higher if the zinc in batteries could somehow be charged with static electricity. The experiments failed, but his imagination would continue undiminished. Goddard developed a fascination with flight, first with kites and then with balloons. He also became a thorough diarist and documenter of his own work, a skill that would greatly benefit his later career. These interests merged at age 16, when Goddard attempted to construct a balloon made with aluminum, shaping the raw metal in his home workshop. After nearly five weeks of methodical, documented efforts, he finally abandoned the project. However, the lesson of this failure did not restrain Goddard's growing determination and confidence in his work. He became interested in space when he the science fiction classic The War of the Worlds when he was 16 years old. His dedication to pursuing rocketry became fixed on October 19, 1899. While climbing a cherry tree to cut off dead limbs, he imagined, creating a device that would ascend to mars. For the rest of his life he observed October 19 as "Anniversary Day", a private commemoration of the day of his greatest inspiration.