Rocket Science


Joined September 2008

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*On dusty desert Goddard tried
Inventions that he did provide
His vision, gravity defied
By rocket science yet untried

Skeptics ridiculed worldwide
Said his brains were surely fried
They truly hurt him deep inside
So desert he did pick to hide

He tucked away his battered pride
The desert had him find his stride
Then ridicule did soon subside
With seventy patents by his side*

This painting was inspired by Dr. Robert H. Goddard, the original rocket scientist. This painting shows Dr. Goddard in his old Model A Ford with one of his rockets in tow on the New Mexico desert. At his high school graduation he gave a speech including his most
famous quote, “It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and reality of tomorrow.”

After graduating from college he taught physics at Clark University in his home town. Unlike his Russian and German counterparts Goddard’s rocket science was more experimental than theoretical. In all, he was granted seventy patents for his inventions.

In 1920 the Smithsonian published Goddard’s famous paper, “A Method of Attaining Extreme Altitudes”, in which he described how a rocket could be sent to the Moon. The idea was greeted with skepticism from scientists and hysterical laughter from the media. The New York Times published a scornful editorial ridiculing Goddard for this fanciful notion. Goddard was stung by the criticism and spent the rest of his life avoiding publicity.

It is very sad, that even now, society ridicules those with visions that are not aligned with their own. The lesson to learn here from Goddard, is to never let those that ridicule or oppose your vision to stand in your way, as it will often be you that gets that last laugh when you pursue your dream.

This painting was created in Photoshop. I first spent many hours restoring a very old and damaged public domain photo, which I am thinking about making available as well due to the quality of the restoration. Then I used the restoration to create the digital painting. Both the painting and the restored photo have been brought up in size tenfold from the original photo, quite a task in itself! They are now both a respectable 4800 × 3600 pixels at 300 pixels per inch, so the print quality is very good.

Artwork Comments

  • Cheyenne
  • ArtByDrew
  • Cheyenne
  • Ze Zhao
  • ArtByDrew
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