Robert Goddard signed letter offered in March 18 sale

Early American History Auctions is to sell a handwritten, signed letter by pioneering rocket scientist Dr Robert Goddard on March 18.

Dr Goddard began working on the development of a liquid-fuel-propelled rocket in 1913.

His successful design launched in March 1926, reaching a height of 41 feet and ushering in the era of spaceflight.

Robert Goddard rocket

Robert Goddard wrote this letter to a former student in October 1925

The letter is likely to prove of particular interest to buyers as it was written in October 1925, six months before the launch.

The letter is addressed to a graduate student, Russell B Hastings, and confirms his allocation of course credits for the previous year.

Hastings had produced a paper - The Emission of Electricity from Substances on Incandescent Carbon - the previous year and Goddard was using the findings to forward his own research.

Hastings later said: “Unlike most research physicists, who were usually poor teachers, Goddard was the best I ever had.

"But I never suspected that he was planning to use my work to prove ion repulsion for rockets.”

It’s expected to make around $5,000-7,000.

There is also a signed manuscript by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, designer of some of America’s most iconic buildings – including Fallingwater and the Guggenheim.

It’s sold alongside three other documents relating to Wright and his studio, Taliesin.

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