Supported by Charles Lindbergh and the Guggenheim family, Goddard worked alone with his wife Esther as secretary, photographer, and lab assistant. In March of 1935, Goddard successfully launched a liquid propellant rocket that broke the speed of sound at 700 miles per hour. Later that month, on March 28, 1935, his rocket, stabilized and controlled by a gyroscope, reached an altitude of 7,500 feet. Its instrument package was even safely returned to the launch site via a parachute recovery system Goddard designed.
Goddard's rockets became bigger and flew higher. Ten years later, by the end of World War II, the United States government established the White Sands Proving Grounds at Roswell; in 1945, missiles reached heights of over 40 miles. Though Goddard died that year, he prescienctly predicted, "I feel we are going to enter a new era, it is just a matter of imagination how far we can go with rockets. I think it is fair to say you haven’t seen anything yet ... It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.” NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland was established in honor of this physicist-pioneer in 1959.