Wednesday, January 12, 2011

20th Century 20 - 1

“I shot an arrow in the air,
it fell to earth, I knew not where.”

Robert Goddard, from Massachusetts, went about fixing that. Not with arrows, or any other weapon, but with his own invention in 1926: the rocket.

Louis CK once complained about how good we have it. In particular, the people who annoyed him this time, were impatient with how long it takes a cell phone to make a call.

“Give it a second! It's going to space!”

Rockets not only have totally changed telecommunications, they've made space travel possible. Goddard's early experiments were out of a yard, and showed that a liquid-fueled rocket could go up a mile. Besides the altitude the liquid fuel is crucial, as well. Anyone can make a projectile.

Later on Goddard came up with the first means of stabilizing and controlling the flight of rockets. His technology made Apollo 11 possible. It made Sputnik a terrifying thing. It has cluttered the post-atmosphere Earth with satellites orbiting, precisely, to let us call people in a manner of seconds.

No comments: