Fun fact #7: He played a role in the advent of the space program.

Lindbergh was a famous proponent of early air travel, but he also helped sow the seeds of the space program through his work with Robert Goddard, the so-called “father of modern rocketry.” Lindbergh first learned about Goddard’s experiments with liquid-fueled rockets in late-1929, and the two soon struck up a lifelong friendship. Convinced that Goddard’s work might one day facilitate a trip to the moon, Lindbergh became the physicist’s greatest champion and even persuaded philanthropist Daniel Guggenheim to give him $100,000 in funding. Goddard’s breakthroughs would later prove invaluable in the development of early missiles and space travel. When Apollo 8 became the first manned space mission to orbit the moon in 1968, Lindbergh sent the astronauts a message saying, “You have turned into reality the dream of Robert Goddard.”

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