Goddard Rocket Launching Site

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Goddard Rocket Launching Site
Goddard and Rocket.jpg
Robert H. Goddard's first rocket at the launch site
Goddard Rocket Launching Site is located in Massachusetts
Goddard Rocket Launching Site
Goddard Rocket Launching Site is located in the United States
Goddard Rocket Launching Site
LocationAuburn, Massachusetts
Coordinates42°13′6″N 71°48′46″W / 42.21833°N 71.81278°W / 42.21833; -71.81278Coordinates: 42°13′6″N 71°48′46″W / 42.21833°N 71.81278°W / 42.21833; -71.81278
ArchitectDr. Robert H. Goddard
NRHP reference No.66000654
Significant dates
Added to NRHPNovember 13, 1966[1]
Designated NHLNovember 13, 1966[2]

The Goddard Rocket Launching Site is a National Historic Landmark commemorating the launch site of the world's first successful liquid-fueled rocket. It is located at 20 Upland Street, Auburn, Massachusetts, within the Pakachoag Golf Course. The launch site is indicated with two markers accessible to visitors while the golf course is open. An obelisk marking the launch site itself is about 1000 feet (300 m) southeast of Upland Street[3] at the "9th Fairway, between Tee and Green," of the Pakachoag Golf Course.[2] This marker may be difficult to access due to the nature of golf. The best advice for visiting is to walk the rock wall between 1st and 9th fairways. A second marker, rectangular in shape, is just off Upland Street in the northwest corner of the golf course.[3]

Monument reads: Site of launching of world's first liquid propellant rocket by Dr. Robert H. Goddard 16 March 1926 - located on the Pakachoag Golf Course in Auburn, MA

Dr. Robert H. Goddard launched his historic rocket on March 16, 1926, from what was then the Asa Ward Farm. The 10-foot (3.0 m) rocket reached an altitude of 41 feet (12 m), flew for two-and-a-half seconds, and fell to the ground 184 feet (56 m) from the launching frame.

Goddard's final launch from Auburn, on July 17, 1929, was also a historic first. The 11-foot (3.4 m) rocket carried an aneroid barometer, thermometer, and a camera triggered when the parachute opened. All three instruments operated successfully and were recovered. The rocket achieved a maximum altitude of 90 feet (27 m) in an 18.5-second flight covering a distance of 171 feet (52 m).[4]

The site was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1966.[2][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  2. ^ a b c "Goddard Rocket Launching Site". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2007-07-28. Retrieved 2008-03-15.
  3. ^ a b c Polly M. Rettig; Horace J. Sheely; S. Sydney Bradford (May 19, 1975). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Goddard Rocket Launching Site" (pdf). National Park Service. and Accompanying nine photos (of rockets, museum exhibits, and this site), from 1966, 1975 and undated (32 KB)
  4. ^ "Spaceline: History of Rocketry Part I: Goddard". Archived from the original on 1999-11-11.

External links[edit]