Pakachoag Golf Course
Under New Management: Town of Auburn, MA
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National Historic Landmark

Goddard Rocket Launching Site

Robert Hutchings Goddard (October 5, 1882 - August 10, 1945), U.S. professor of physics and scientist, was a pioneer of controlled, liquid-fueled rocketry. He launched the world's first liquid-fueled rocket on March 16, 1926. From 1930 to 1935, he launched rockets that attained speeds of up to 885 km/h (550 mph). Though his work in the field was revolutionary, he was sometimes ridiculed for his theories.

Robert Goddard Timeline

  • 1882 Birth in Worcester, Massachusetts
  • 1900 US Census living with his grandmother
  • 1908 Wrote Old Tech, a musical composition
  • 1908 Graduation from Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • 1919 A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes published
  • 1924 Marriage to Esther Christine Kisk on June 21
  • 1926 First rocket launched from Auburn, Massachusetts on March 16
  • 1930 Moved to Mescalero Ranch, Roswell, New Mexico
  • 1945 Died in Baltimore, Maryland

The Goddard Rocket Launching Site National Historic Landmark commemorates the site of the world’s first successful liquid-fueled rocket. It is located on Upland Street in Auburn, Massachusetts within the boundaries of the town-owned Pakachoag Golf Course. The actual launch site is indicated by a granite marker adjacent to the ninth fairway of the golf course. Dr. Robert H. Goddard launched his historic rocket on March 16, 1926, from what was then the Asa Ward Farm. Its 10-foot cylinder reached an altitude of 41 feet, flew for two-and-a-half seconds, and fell to the ground 184 feet from the launching frame. The site was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1966 and is one of only six National Historic Landmarks in Worcester County.

Below: Robert Goddard, bundled against the cold New England weather of March 16, 1926, holds the launching frame of his most notable invention - the first liquid-fueled rocket.