Tsiolkovsky (Ziolkowski), Konstantin Eduardovich

SUBJECT AREA: Aerospace
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b. 17 September 1857 (5 September 1857, Old Style) Izhevskoye, Russia
d. 19 September 1935 Kaluga, Russia.
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Russian pioneer space theorist.
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The son of a Polish lumberjack who had settled in Russia, Tsiolkovsky was a largely self-educated schoolteacher who was practically deaf from childhood. In spite of this handicap, he studied the problems of space and spaceflight and arrived at most of the correct theoretical solutions. In 1883 he noted that the gas escaping from a vehicle moving into space would drive the containing vehicle away from it. He wrote a remarkable series of technical articles and papers including, in 1903, a seminal article, "Exploration of Space with Reactive Devices". His aerodynamic experiments did not receive any significant recognition from the Academy of Sciences, and his design for an all-metal dirigible was largely ignored at the 1914 Aeronautics Congress in St Petersburg. However, from the inception of the Soviet Union until his death, Tsiolkovsky continued his research with state support, and on 9 November 1921 he was granted a pension for life by the Council of the People's Commissars. He has rightly been described as the "Grandfather of Spaceflight" and as a fine theoretical engineer who established most of the principles upon which rocket technology is based.
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Principal Honours and Distinctions
Elected to the Socialist Academy (later the Academy of Sciences of the USSR) 1919.
Further Reading
T.Osman, 1983, Space History, London: Michael Joseph.
R.Spangenburg and D.Moser, 1990, Space People, New York: Facts on File.
IMcN

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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