Rocket Man

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Dr. Robert H. Goddard is pictured working on his experimental rockets in Roswell, N.M. in an undated photo. (AP Photo)

Dr. Robert H. Goddard is pictured working on his experimental rockets in Roswell, N.M. in an undated photo. (AP Photo)

Saturday, October 5th is the 132nd birth anniversary of rocket pioneer Robert H. Goddard. His was the first liquid-fueled rocket to prove the concept that allowed for the exploration of space as we know it today. He launched the first liquid-fueled rocket in March 1926. The maximum altitude he achieved was 1.7 miles. His technology eventually was adopted in America soon after his death in 1945.

October 5th is also the 61st anniversary of the founding of NASA. It was originally established as the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, and had 8000 employees and three laboratories. President Dwight Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act in August 1958 in response to the launch of Sputnik on October 4th, 1957. Congress created the National Aeronautics and Space Administration on October 1st, 1958.

Along with our seasonal weather change comes the now obvious changes in sun time. We’re down to 11 hours 36 minutes of sun above the horizon vs 15 hours on June 21. We’ll still lose another 2 hours and 15 minutes between now and December 21 with Halloween as the halfway point to Winter Solstice. This is a great time for stargazers because they can start early enough and be warm enough to see three seasons of constellations from sunset to sunrise. Jupiter and Saturn are still the showpiece items of the evening sky.
On Sunday night at 8 p.m., 60 degrees up in the NorthEast, the International Space Station will be visible.

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