Rocket Men: Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky

Wiki TsiolkovskyKonstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky was born in Russia in 1857. The fifth of eighteen children, Tsiolkovsky first imagined a place without gravity when he was 8. It was a small hydrogen-filled ballon that rose to the ceiling each time he let it go that excited his imagination. Tsiolkovsky’s mother taught him to read and write. Before he entered his teens, his life took a turn that would forever alter his path.

As Tsiolkovsky wrote later, ” Age of 10 or 11, the beginning of winter, I rode a toboggan. Caught a cold. Fell ill, was delirious. They though I’d die but I got better, but became very deaf and deafness wouldn’t go. It tormented me very much.” The reality of a profound hearing loss a the time and in the area that Tsiolkovsky lived meant that his opportunities for education were extremely limited. He needed to depend upon himself to set goals and seek knowledge on his own.   Continue reading

Tsiolkovsky: Sixteen Stages of Space Exploration

Wiki TsiolkovskyRussian Rocketman Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky, truly a “Citizen of the Universe,” introduced these Sixteen Stages of Space Exploration in 1926. He believed that these incremental steps would bring man into space and allow him to thrive:

  1. Design of rocket-propelled airplanes with wings.
  2. Progressively increasing the speeds and altitudes reached with these airplanes.   Continue reading

Science Fiction and Science

The development of rocket technology is a story of international accomplishment. Three men, working independently in three different countries, were at the forefront of liquid-fueled rocket development. All three did their work at the start of the 20th century, yet none of them knew of the others’ work in time to use that work in his own investigations.

  • One of these “rocket men” was Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky of Russia. Born in 1857, he was the fifth of 18 children. Intrigued as a child by the way a small hydrogen-filled balloon rose to the ceiling each time he let it loose, as an adult he was determined to reach and live in space.
  • Robert Goddard was the American rocket man. Born in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1882, he  was 17-years old when he decided he would find a way to ascend to Mars.
  • Hermann Oberth, born in 1894 in Romania, of German nationality, designed his rocket to work in stages. He also worked on research projects for Germany in the late 1930’s.

What did these three men have in common?    Continue reading

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