Dr. Robert Hutchings Goddard was born on October 5, 1882, in Worcester, Massachusetts and was the only surviving child of his parents Fannie Louise Hoyt and Nahum Danford Goddard. Robert Hutchings Goddard was interested in science-fiction as a child, and developed an interest in outer space after reading Herbert George Wells’s novel, “The War of the Worlds.”
In 1915, Robert Hutchings Goddard launched his first powered rocket at Clark University. In 1917, Goddard was awarded $5,000 from the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C to develop a rocket that could go into the upper atmosphere. During his time developing that rocket he utilized the laboratory at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute.