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Famous Like Me > Writer > T > Konstantin Tsiolkovsky

Profile of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky on Famous Like Me

Name: Konstantin Tsiolkovsky  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 17th September 1857
Place of Birth: Izhevskoye, Russia
Profession: Writer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky

Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky (Konstanty Ciołkowski), (Константин Эдуардович Циолковский; September 5, 1857 new style – September 19, 1935) was a Russian rocket scientist and pioneer of cosmonautics who spent most of his life in a log-house at the outskirts of the Russian town of Kaluga.

He was born in Izhevskoye (now in Spassky District, Ryazan Oblast), Russia in a middle-class Polish family. As a child he had caught the scarlet fever and became hard of hearing. He was not accepted at elementary schools because of his hearing problem, so was home schooled until 16.

Nearly deaf, he worked as a high school mathematics teacher until retiring in 1920. Tsiolkovsky theorized many aspects of space travel and rocket propulsion. He is considered the father of human space flight and the first man to conceive the space elevator, after visiting Paris in 1895 and becoming inspired by the newly-constructed Eiffel Tower. His most famous work was Исследование мировых пространств реактивными приборами (The Exploration of Cosmic Space by Means of Reaction Devices), which published in 1903 was arguably the first academic treatise on rocketry. Tsiolkovsky first calculated that the escape velocity from the Earth into orbit was 8 km/second and that to achieve this, a multi-stage rocket fueled by liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen was required. During his lifetime he published over 500 works on space travel and related subjects, including science fiction novels. Among his works are designs for rockets with steering thrusters, multi-stage boosters, space stations, airlocks for exiting a spaceship into the vacuum of space, and closed cycle biological systems to provide food and oxygen for space colonies. Unfortunately his ideas never made it out of Russia, and the field lagged until German and other scientists independently made the same calculations decades later.

His work influenced later rocketeers throughout Europe, and was also studied by the Americans in the 1950s and 1960s as they sought to understand the Soviet Union's early successes in space flight.

1 rouble, 1987

Tsiolkovsky also delved into theories of heavier-than-air flying machines, independently working through many of the same calculations that the Wright brothers were doing at the same time. However, he never built any practical models, and his interest shifted to more ambitious topics.

Friedrich Zander became enthusiastic about Tsiolkovsky's work and active in promoting and developing it. In 1924 he established the first Cosmonautics Society in the Soviet Union, and later researched and built liquid-fuelled rockets named OR-1 (1930) and OR-2 (1933). On August 23, 1924 Tsiolkovsky was elected as a first professor of the Military-Air Academy N. E. Zhukovsky.

In 1929 Tsiolkovsky proposed the construction of staged rockets in his book Космические поезда (Cosmic Trains).

The basic equation for rocket propulsion, the Tsiolkovsky rocket equation, is named after him.

He was also an adherent of philosopher Nikolai Fyodorov, and believed that colonizing space would lead to the perfection of the human race, with immortality and a carefree existence.

Tsiolkovsky died on September 19, 1935 in Kaluga, Russia and was buried in state. A museum of astronautics in Kaluga now bears his name, as does Tsiolkovskiy crater on the far side of the moon.


"The Earth is the cradle of humanity, but one can not live in a cradle forever!"

"Men are weak now, and yet they transform the Earth’s surface. In millions of years their might will increase to the extent that they will change the surface of the Earth, its oceans, the atmosphere and themselves. They will control the climate and the solar system just as they control the Earth. They will travel beyond the limits of our planetary system; they will reach other Suns and use their fresh energy instead of the energy of their dying luminary."

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Konstantin Tsiolkovsky