The Nasa Space Program And The Individuals

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The Nasa Space Program And The Individuals Behind It Essay, Research Paper Today the United States is held as one of the super powers of the world, boasting its wealth and armed power. Among its greatest achievements is the NASA Space Program. NASA is currently the leading Space program, setting new standards by conducting experiments in space, exploring new parts of the solar system, and most of all, putting a man on the moon. All of the achievements of the space program are due to people who had the foresight to see beyond the big picture. Earth is the cradle of mankind, but man cannot live in the cradle forever. (Torres pg. 1) This theory was that of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky. Tsiolkovsky was a deaf 41year old arithmetic teacher in Russia when he calculated how man would be

able to enter space. This spark was the beginning of the space age. He broke the mold by having the ambition to explore past our atmosphere. Tsiolkovsky imagined what it would be like to travel in space and scribbled in his notebook every idea he had about space. He had hopes of using a centrifugal force machine to propel himself out of the atmosphere. Latter he decided that the way to go was with a rocket he called a Reaction Machine. (Walter pg. 5-7) In 1903 he published his works in a Russian paper named Science Survey (Walter pg. 5-7) in which he titled The Investigation of World Spaces with a Reaction Machine. At the time of the publication few could imagine launching a human into the sky using a rocket. The general consensus of Tsiolkovsky s paper was that he was simply

mad. It wasn t until the Russian government fell under Soviet regime that Tsiolkovsky s technological ideas were embraced. On the other side of the ocean was a New England Yankee named Robert Goddard. Goddard was an eccentric man with superb engineering skills. At the age of thirty-six he composed The Ultimate Migration. (Walter pg. 20) In this work he described how the sun was burning out and that the inhabitants of earth would need to find a way to depart the earth. He suggested that huge fleet or arks be built and sent into space to find a new inhabitable environment. Although Goddard s ideas were far out, he was still considered a top-notch physicist and engineer. As a child Goddard was very ill and isolated. He spent most of his time reading books. One book he read was H.G.

Well s The War of the Worlds. This book inspired him in what he called high altitude research. Goddard graduated from high school in 1905 and went to Clark University where he took graduate and doctoral degrees. Goddard, like Tsiolkovsky, realized the best way to leave the atmosphere was with a rocket. On July 7, 1914 Goddard won his first patent for a liquid-fuel rocket. Goddard started building prototypes in the physics shop at Clark University. Soon after, Goddard landed a job working at Clark University as a part time physics professor. Goddard tested his prototypes early in the morning at nearby Coes Pond. As Goddard continued testing, his part time university job was failing to supply him with enough money. Goddard then turned to the Smithsonian Institute for funding. After

presenting a paper entitled A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes, Goddard was awarded one thousand dollars and four thousand more as he needed it. The Research and ideas of these two individuals gave rise to the theory of space travel. Their efforts lead to manned missions and astronauts on the moon. Tsiolkovsky and Goddard were the foundation of all space programs. Their ideas, at first shunned, were latter embraced. Without these men we wouldn t have NASA, or any other space program. The birth of NASA was because of two men who dared to think the unthinkable and push past conventionality. Now that someone had come up with the calculations, it was only a matter of time until a brave soul would strap himself to the front of rocket and pierce the atmosphere. Russia was the first