Dr. Robert Hutchings Goddard, Greenbelt, Maryland, NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, U.S. Senator John Glenn Beall, Junior

The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

In August of 1958, U.S. Senator John Glenn Beall, Junior announced that the federal government would establish a “Space Projects Center” in Greenbelt, Maryland. The center site was part of the Department of Agriculture’s Beltsville Agricultural Research Center.

U.S. Senator John Glenn Beall, Junior after he won an election.

Months later, after the passage of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, the Naval Research Laboratory’s Project Vanguard was legally transferred to the “Beltsville Space Center,” though it remained at the Naval Research Laboratory facilities until the completion of the new center.

Dr. Robert Hutchings Goddard with a liquid rocket.

In May of 1959, NASA formally announced that the new facility would be called Goddard Space Flight Center, after Dr. Robert Hutchings Goddard. Robert Goddard, whom is widely considered the father of modern rocketry, theorized that rockets would work in a vacuum, and thus could potentially be used to send payloads into space. On March 16, 1961, the 35th anniversary of Goddard’s first liquid-propellant rocket launch Goddard Space Flight Center was officially dedicated.

Researchers prepare Explorer XX, the Topside Sounder IE-A, for launch. The satellite was put into orbit on 25 August 1964. (Credit NASA Goddard Space Center).

The NASA Goddard Visitor Center has various exhibits for visitors to see.

Ariel view of NASA’s Goddard Visitor Center. (Credit NASA Goddard Flight Center).

Author’s Note:

Dan Hamilton, the father of author Philip Hamilton, worked at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from 1991 to 2018.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s