The first toy ray guns were produced in the 1930s. Part of the Buck Rogers craze that swept the United States, they were an important by-product of, and influence on the popularizing of space that occurred in the early decades of the twentieth century. Our entry into the domain of space began during the 1920s and 1930s when an American scientist, Robert H. Goddard, began the first early tests of liquid fueled rockets. Disproving the theory that rockets could not move forward in space because there was no air to push against, Goddard discovered the basic principles of rocket science. Yet, ironically, it was not Goddard, the father of space travel, who first caught the public's attention and popularized space exploration. It was a far more fanciful and romantic character, Buck Rogers.