Taylor Swift is wildly successful, but growing up she spent her time writing poetry, novels, and singing at karaoke contests and music festivals.
LeBron James is one of the best basketball players in the NBA, but he’s practiced hard to gain an edge over his peers.
Bill Gates is largely responsible for the age of the personal computer. He spent his time after school (and even skipped classes!) to learn programming languages.
Robert Goddard, who you probably haven’t heard of, had a talent for science and loved rockets. Through a lot of hard work, he was the first to successfully fly a liquid-fueled rocket, an invention that set the stage for humans finally being able to fly in space.
Dreaming beyond the stars
Robert H. Goddard, a pioneer in rocketry with dreams of spaceflight, was born in 1883 in Worcester, Massachusetts. Goddard wrote in his diary that at the age of 17 he climbed into a cherry tree and dreamed of flying to Mars. His daydream was inspired by science fiction authors like Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, who wrote From the Earth to the Moon and War of the Worlds, respectively.
He thought that if humans can dream up such fantasies, surely there’s a way to make them reality. That day was so defining for Goddard that, for the rest of his life, he wrote about it in his diary being “Anniversary Day”; his purpose in life from that day on was to fly beyond the stars.
When Goddard began his graduate work in physics at Clark University, he began experimenting with solid-fuel rockets. He knew before 1919 that solid fuels wouldn’t provide enough energy to get rockets into space, and in 1921 he began experimenting with liquid-fueled rockets.
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