Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovskii

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Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky[2] (17 September 1857[1] – 19 September 1935) was an Imperial Russian and Soviet rocket scientist and pioneer of the astronautic theory. Along with the German Hermann Oberth and the American Robert H. Goddard, he is considered to be one of the founding fathers of rocketry and astronautics.[3] His works later inspired leading Soviet rocket engineers such as Sergey Korolyov and Valentin Glushko and contributed to the early success of the Soviet space program.

Tsiolkovsky spent most of his life in a log house on the outskirts of Kaluga, about 200 km (125 miles) southwest of Moscow. A misanthrope by nature, he appeared strange and bizarre to his fellow town-folk.



He was born in Izhevskoye (now in Spassky District, Ryazan Oblast), in the Russian Empire, to a middle-class family. His father, Edward Tsiolkovsky (in Polish: Ciołkowski), was Polish; his mother, Maria Yumasheva, was an educated Russian woman of Tartar descent.[4] His father was a Polish patriot deported to Russia as a result of his revolutionary political activities.[5] At the age of 9, Konstantin caught scarlet fever and became hard of hearing.[6] He was not admitted to elementary schools because of his hearing problem, so he was self-taught.[6]

Inspired by the fiction of Jules Verne, Tsiolkovsky theorized many aspects of space travel and rocket propulsion. He is considered the father of spaceflight and the first man to conceive the space elevator, becoming inspired in 1895 by the newly-constructed Eiffel Tower in Paris.

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