К.Э. Циолковский /на англ. языке/
Konstantin Eduardovitch Tsiolkovsky
The life of Konstantin Eduardovitch
"The Earth is
the cradle of the mind, but we cannot live forever in a cradle".
Konstantin E Eduardovitch.
Tsiolkovsky was a true visionary and pioneer of astronautics. He theorized many
aspects of human space travel and rocket propulsion decades before others, and
played an important role in the development of the Soviet and Russian space
He was born on September 17,1857, in the village of Ijevskoe,
Ryasan Province, Russia, the son a a Polish forester who had emigrated to
Russia. He was not from a rich family, but a very large one; Konstantin
Tsiolkovsky had 17 brothers and sisters. At the age of 10 he lost his hearing
as the result of scarlet fever. After that he couldn’t attend school, and he
never recieved any formal education. The knowledge and education he attained
were acheived by himself. His books were his teachers, and he read every book
in his father’s library. Tsiolkovsky later remembered that his hearing loss
influenced greatly his future life: during all his life he tried to prove to
himself and to others that he was better and more clever than others, even with
1873-1876 Konstantin Tsiolkovsky lived in Moscow. During this time he visited
the main Moscow libraries, among them the well known Pashkov House Library. It
was in this fashion that he received his self-education. While in Moscow,
Tsiolkovsky was tutored by the eccentric and brilliant Russian philosopher Nikolai
Fedorovitch Fedorov, who was working in a Moscow library at the time. Fedorov
was a leading proponent of Russian Cosmism, and gave Tsiolkovsky a place to
work in the library. In many ways, he took the place of the university
lecturers that Tsiolkovsky never had access to. At the age of17, while living
in Moscow, he first dreamed about the possibility of space flight. He was, in
part, inspired by the novels of Jules Verne. Since that time he started to
think about the problems of space vehicle design. His great purpose was not
simply to go into outer space, but to live in space, for humainity to become a
1876-1879, after his coming back to his father’s home, he lived in Vyatka and
Ryasan. After passing his exams, he recieved his Teacher’s Certificate, and
went to work as a math teacher in Borovsk, Kaluga Province.
1880-1892 Tsiolkovsky lived in Borovsk and worked as a teacher. At that time he
began his scientific research in air baloon building, life in free space,
aerodynamics and philosophy. It was also at that time that he married. His
wife, Barbara E. Sokolova, was the daughter of the local preacher. Together,
they had 3 daughters and 4 sons.
1892-1935 he lived and worked in Kaluga. His moving to Kaluga was the result of
a teaching promotion. He lived in the house that is now a part of the museum
complex with his family from the year 1904 until his death in 1935. It was here
in Kaluga that he became a well known scientist, and where he wrote and
published his theories of space flight and inter-planetary travels. In Kaluga
he wrote his Cosmic Philosophy, and he dreamed about the far distant future of
humanity, including the eventual conquest of space and our leaving the cradle
of the planet Earth for the stars. He was made a member of the Soviet Academy
of Science in 1919.
He received a government
pension in 1920, and continued to work and write about space. Upon the
publication of the works of German rocket pioneer Herman Oberth in 1923, his
works were revised and published more widely, and he finally earned some
international recognition for his ideas.
E. Tsiolkovsky, the father of cosmonautics, died in Kaluga at the age of 78 on
September 19,1935. He received an honored State funeral from the Soviet
government. He was buried in the old Kaluga Cemetery.
tomb of Tsiolkovsky in the Old Kaluga Cemetery.
The Work of Tsiolkovsky
"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."-Konstantin Tsiolkovsky
is considered to be the father of cosmonautics and human space flight, and was a truly great thinker. His visionary ideas about the
future of humanity in space were magnificent and far ahead of his time. He
dreamed about space flight since he was a very young boy. Tsiolkovsky was
certain that the future of human life will be in outer space, so he deceded
that we must study the cosmos to pave the way for future generations.
Later, he proved mathematically the possibility of space flight,
and wrote and published over 500 works about space travel and related subjects.
These included the design and construction of space rockets, steerable rocket
engines, multi-stage boosters, space stations, life in space, and more. His
notebooks are filled with sketches of liquid-feuled rockets, detailed
combustion chamber designs with steering vanes in the exhaust plume for
directional control, double walled pressurized cabins to protect from
meteorites, gyroscopes for attitude control, reclining seats to protect from
high G loads at launch, air locks for exiting the spaceship into the vacume of
space, and other amazingly accurate predictions of space travel. Many of these
were done before the first airplane flight. He determined correctly that the
escape velocity from the Earth into orbit was 8 km./second, and that this could
be achieved by using a multi-stage rocket fueled by liquid oxygen and liquid
hydrogen. He predicted the use of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen or liquid
oxygen and kerosene for propulsion, spinning space stations for artificial
gravity, mining asteroids for materials, space suits, the problems of eating,
drinking, and sleeeping in weightlessness, and even closed cycle biological
systems to provide food and oxygen for space colonies.
Some of his works include:
Drawings" (1879). The earliest manuscript of Tsiolkovsky. He drew the
Solar System, the distances between the planets, their satellites, etc.
(1883). Manuscript of Tsiolkovsky, first published in 1956. In this work, he
described the life and ways of motion in free space, zero gravity, all done
without the benefit on any mathematical calculations. It was in this paper that
Tsiolkovsky drew the primitive design of a true Space Craft, which moved in
outer space with the help of reactive forces.
was the first drawing of Tsiolkovsky’s of a space vehicle, from "Free Space" (1883). It shows cosmonauts in
weightlessness, gyroscopes for attitude control, and an airlock for exit into
"The Tsiolkovsky Rocket Equation". He created his calculations about
space flight theory on May 10, 1897. The first publication of the results was
in the article "Exploration of the Universe with Reaction Machines",
in the monthly magazine "The Science Review",# 5 (St.Petersburg,
1903). This was the first publication in the world on this subject.
Classic article "Research into Interplanetary Space by Means of Rocket
Power" was published in 1903, the year of the first airplane flight by the
Wright Brothers. It accurately described the state of weightlessness and the
theoretical function of rockets in a vacume. He demonstrated why rockets would
be needed for space exploration, and also advocated the use of liquid
propellants that are used today.
This is his book published in
1914 that was the reprint of the 1903 article.
"Plan of Space
Exploration". This was published in 1926. It consists of 16 Points, from
the very begining of space conquest, until the far distant future, including
He also wrote science fiction books, including "On
The Moon (1895), Dreams of the Earth and Sky (1895), and Beyond the Earth
"The Space Rocket
Trains". (1929). This publication of Tsiolkovsky was about his original
idea of a multi-stage rocket, which consisted of several separate rockets, one
on top of another. Tsiolkovsky proved that only such a type of rocket would be
able to reach escape velocity and fly to Earth orbit.
"Album of Space
Travels". (1932). The drawings from this manuscript of Tsiolkovsky show us
his brilliant ideas about life in space, including zero gravity, air pressure
locking, space habitats, rocket guidance, etc.
Tsiolkovsky’s Cosmic Philosophy
"All the Universe is full of the life of perfect creatures." Tsiolkovsky.
very much as interested in the philosophy of space as he was with the
engineering needed to make space flight possible. This was the very begining of
Tsiolkovsky’s research into space flight problems and was the basis for it. His
main work of this subject was "Ethics or the Natural Foundations of
Morality" (1902-1918). In 1932 Tsiolkovsky wrote "The Cosmic
Philosophy" — the summary of his philosophical ideas. His main idea was to
achieve happiness not only for humanity, but also for all the living beings in
the Cosmos, for all the Universe. He believed that human occupation of space
was inevitable and would drive human evolution.
Tsiolkovsky defined his "Plan of Space Exploration", consisting of
sixteen steps for human expansion into space:
1) Creation of rocket airplanes
2) Progressively increasing the
speed and altitude of these airplanes.
3) Production of real
4) Ability to land on the surface
of the sea.
5) Reaching excape velocity
(about 8 Km/second), and the first flight into Earth orbit.
6) Lengthening rocket flight
times in space.
7) Experimental use of plants to
make an artificial atmosphere in spacships.
8) Using pressurized space suits
for activity outside of spaceships.
9) Making orbiting greenhouses
10) Constructing large orbital
habitats around the Earth.
11) Using solar radiation to grow
food, to heat space quarters, and for transport throughout the Solar System.
12) Colonization of the asteroid
13) Colonization of the entire
Solar System and beyond.
14) Acheivement of individual and
15) Overcrowding of the Solar
System and the colonization of the Milky Way (the Galaxy).
16) The Sun begins to die and the
people remaining in the Solar System’s population go to other suns.
Arkady A., 1956. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky: His Life and Works. Foreign
Languages Publishing House, Moscow, Russia.
1987. The Space Age. Progress, Moscow.
Sergei, I., 1969. Citizen of the Universe: Sketches of the Life and Works of
Konstantin Eduardovitch Tsiolkovsky (in Russian). Tsiolkovsiy State Museum
of the History of Cosmonautics, Kaluga, Russia.