Konstantin Tsiolkovsky

Konstantin Tsiolkovsky
Death date


Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky was born in 1857 in Russia and was one of the first theorists and advocates of human spaceflight among other detailed technology theories, many of which became reality decades later.

At 10 years old he became nearly deaf from scarlet fever and had to quit school, but he continued extensive learning at home. His family sent him to Moscow to attend college and eventually became a teacher. He did extensive research into space travel and contemplated detailed issues in accomplishing it. He wrote theoretical papers on gyroscopes, escape velocities, spacecraft design, airships, and liquid propellant rockets.

He designed a monoplane in 1894 that was later flown in 1915, as well as the first Russian wind tunnel in 1897. He studied rocket dynamics, and published a rocket equation, the Tsiolkovsky formula, establishing the relationships between rocket speed, the speed of the propellant, and the mass of the rocket. In 1929 he published theories of multistage rockets needed to get to orbit and beyond, and later projects followed his model considerably well.

He wasn't well recognized for his work until later in his life, and since his death in 1935 he has been honored frequently. A crater on the far side of the moon is named in his honor. In 1989 he was invested in the International Aerospace Hall of Fame. The Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky State Museum of the History of Cosmonautics in Kaluga, Russia, has his theoretical work on display. In Russia he is called the father of theoretical and applied cosmonautics. The town of Uglegorsk in Amur Oblast was even renamed Tsiolkovsky by President Vladimir Putin in 2015. His name is also used in several 20th century stories to name ships and inventions.

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