As OV-105 Endeavour closes in on the International Space Station carrying Barbara Morgan, the first teacher in space, there is more than one historical moment to reflect upon.
As we remember the tragedy of OV-99 Challenger's catastrophic failure 22 years ago killing McAullife, Onizuka, Scobee, and the others; lets remember another space related event that happened on August 10th.
It was on this day in 1945 that the father of modern rocketry died, his name was Dr. Robert H. Goddard. After twenty plus years launching liquid fuel rockets, first from a cabbage patch to later experiments in New Mexico and work with the US Navy to develop JATO, it was Dr. Goddard's experiments that proved the ideas first put forth by the likes of Tsiolkovsky while blazing the path Werner von Braun would use to lead the United States to the Moon.
Goddard Space Flight Center is named for this pioneer and on September 16th, 1959 Congress authorized the issuance of a gold medal in the name of Dr. Goddard.