National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF) Inductees have been essential in the development and progression of space travel. Let’s look at just a few of these interstellar Inductees who’ve impacted space travel:
Robert Hutchings Goddard, Solid Fuel Rockets
NIHF Inductee Robert Hutchings Goddard pioneered modern rocketry and space flight, founding a whole new field of science and engineering. Goddard is credited with building the world’s first liquid-fueled rocket, creating a new generation of space innovation. His detailed mathematical theory of rocket propulsion proved that rocket engines could produce thrust in a vacuum and therefore make space flight possible.
Yvonne Brill, Rocket Propulsion for Communications Satellites
NIHF Inductee Yvonne Brill was known for her innovations in rocket propulsion. Most notable are her contributions in the form of hydrazine resistojet propulsion, or the electrothermal hydrazine thruster (EHT), which advanced propulsion systems for communications satellites. Her invention reduced the amount of propellant previously needed to keep a satellite in orbit. The result was a thirty percent increase in efficiency and better overall performance. Her innovations became standard in industry, and companies like RCA, Lockheed Martin and Orbital Sciences have used EHTs on their communications satellites.
Maxime Faget, Space Capsule Design
NIHF Inductee Max Faget conceived and designed the first space capsule — or the body of a space craft—Mercury, from which the designs for the Gemini capsule and the Apollo command and service modules were derived, as well as made major contributions to the design of the space shuttle. These designs were instrumental in the establishment and growth of the American space program. Faget won numerous awards for his work including the NASA Medal of Outstanding Leadership and the Guggenheim Award.
To learn more about these world-changing — and space-changing — Inductees, search the keyword “space” in our Inductee database.