On this date back in 1926, Robert Goddard launched the first liquid-fueled rocket on his Aunt Effie Ward’s farm in Auburn, MA. The rocket flew to an altitude of 12.5 m (41 ft), landing 56.1 m (184 ft) away in the snow.
Goddard, Henry Sachs(a Clark University machinist), his wife Ester prepared the rocket while photographer Percy Roope took pictures. The rocket was slow to produce enough thrust to lift it but finally rose to 41 ft. The rocket was not very stable in flight.
“March 16. Went to Auburn with S[achs] in am. E[sther] and Mr. Roope came out at 1 p.m. Tried rocket at 2.30. It rose 41 feet & went 184 feet, in 2.5 secs., after the lower half of the nozzle burned off. Brought materials to lab.” -Goddard
The rocket in which was named “Nell” only rose to a modest 41 feet but it was a great leap in the possibilities that liquid fueled held.
Build your own “Nell”
Clark University’s excellent archives on Robert Goddard are HERE