Auburn, MA--"The Eagle has landed," was radioed back to Earth 32 years ago this month as the first manned landing on the Moon was completed. But this event may never have happened if not for the first flight of a liquid-fuel rocket on March 16, 1926. Inventor Robert Goddard conducted the test on his "Aunt Effie's" farm in Auburn, MA.
The site of the first liquid-fuel rocket launch conducted by Robert Goddard, in Auburn, MA, was rededicated last Saturday by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Photo above shows Goddard and his first rocket. The site today below is marked by an obelisk and sits on a town golf course.
To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the launch, last Saturday the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics rededicated the location as one of several significant aerospace sites worldwide.
The state fire marshal eventually halted Goddard's testing in Auburn, but the publicity surrounding the cessation attracted the attention of Charles Lindbergh and the Guggenheims who funded the work from then on. Goddard moved his testing to Roswell, NM and developed gyroscopic controls for his later rockets as well.
The family sold the Auburn farm after Goddard left to a golf course developer. It is now owned by the town of Auburn and is preserved as open space. The obelisk is alongside the ninth fairway and one of the original stone walls of the farm runs along there as well.
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