Pedro Paulet

Pedro Paulet

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Pedro Paulet

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Pedro Paulet Mostajo (July 2, 1874 in Arequipa, Peru – 1945 in Buenos Aires, Argentina) was a Peruvian scientist who in 1895, was the first person to build a liquid-fuel rocket engine. Paulet is considered one of the "fathers of aeronautics". The National Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C., has a small plaque honoring the memory of Paulet.


Paulet's claims were unknown until October 27, 1927, when a letter from Paulet appeared in an issue of the Peruvian newspaper El Comercio in which he claimed legal ownership of his earlier rocket motor design. Recognizing that rocketry was beginning to boom in Europe, Paulet sought witnesses to help verify the work he said he had done years earlier. The letter was circulated across the world by an Alexander Scherschevsky, a Russian national, in summary form. Had Paulet's claim been authenticated, he might today be considered the father of liquid-propellant rocketry, rather than Robert H. Goddard, who in 1926, flew a liquid-fueled rocket engine in a test vehicle.

Paulet also designed reaction motors in 1895, propulsion systems in 1900, and an airplane using thermoelectric batteries and rocket engines in 1902. He alluded to the use of nuclear propelled rockets for flights to the moon.

In 1900, Paulet’s life took a turn. Because of the various diplomatic responsibilities he was given by the Peruvian...
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