5 (17) September 1857 in the village of Izhevskoye, Ryazan Oblast, in the family of gamekeeper was born Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, a Russian scientist and inventor in the field of aerodynamics, rocket dynamics, theory of airplanes and airships, the founder of modern astronautics.
In 1868, in connection with a new appointment of Tsiolkovsky's father, the family moved to Vyatka, and in 1869 Konstantin entered the Vyatka gymnasium. Hearing problems resulting from scarlet fever, did not allow him to complete his education at school, and from the age of 14 he began to study by himself. In 1873, Tsiolkovsky moved to Moscow, where he continued his education: he studied physics and mathematics in accordance with the program of middle and high school. In 1879 Tsiolkovsky externally passed the exams for the title of county schools teachers and a year later was appointed to the district school in Borovskoye, Kaluga province. In 1892 he was transferred to the Kaluga district school, and from 1898 also began to teach mathematics and physics in the women's diocesan school in Kaluga.
The first scientific studies of Tsiolkovsky refer to 1880's. Unaware of the discoveries already made by Western scholars, a young researcher wrote a paper "The Theory of Gases," in 1880-1881 where he outlined the basis of the kinetic theory of gases. His second work, "The mechanics of the animal," written in the same years, received a favorable reference from Russian physiologist I. M. Sechenov, and Tsiolkovsky was admitted to the Russian Physical and Chemical Society. In 1885-1892 he performed much of his work on the substantiation of the possibility of construction of an all-metal airship, and from 1896 had been systematically studying the theory of motion of jet apparatus and proposed a number of schemes of long-range missiles and rockets for interplanetary travel.
Major works by Tsiolkovsky concerned four problems: the scientific substantiation for all-metal airship, streamlined airplane, air-cushioned train and rocket for interplanetary travel. In his first printed book on airships - "Metal dirigible" (1892) - he gave a scientific and technical rationale for the construction of an airship with a metal sheath. After moving in 1892 to Kaluga, the scientist turned to a new and largely unexplored field at that time - the creation of aircrafts heavier than air.
It was the idea of Tsiolkovsky to build an airplane with a metal frame. In his article "Airplane, or birdlike (aircraft) flying machine" (1894), the scientist gave the description and drawings of a monoplane, which, by its appearance and aerodynamic configuration, anticipated the design of aircrafts that were invented 15-18 years later. The researcher also obtained important scientific results in the theory of motion of rockets (rocket dynamics). In 1903, in his article "The study of outer spaces by rocket apparatus" Tsiolkovsky applied the general laws of mechanics to the theory of rocket flight of variable mass and demonstrated the possibility of interplanetary travel. He first solved the problem of landing a spacecraft on the surface of the planets devoid of atmosphere.
In the 1920's Tsiolkovsky worked hard to create a theory of jet airplanes, inventing his own scheme of gas turbine engine. In 1926-29 the scientist developed the theory of multistage rockets and the first solved the problem of movement of a rocket in a not uniform gravitational field, and calculated the necessary supplies of fuel to overcome air resistance forces around the Earth. His research showed for the first time the possibility of achieving cosmic velocities. He first studied the issue of a rocket as an artificial earth satellite and suggested the creation of near-earth stations as artificial settlements, using the energy of the sun and way bases for interplanetary travels. In addition, the researcher studied the medical and biological problems associated with long-duration space flights.
In his philosophical and artistic works Tsiolkovsky developed the "cosmic philosophy", based on the concept of "atom" as immortal animate elementary being which runs from organism to organism in the universe. Many of the ideas of the scholar’s philosophy formed the basis of the so-called Russian cosmism.
The works by Tsiolkovsky greatly promoted the development of rocket and space technology in the Soviet Union and abroad. In 1932, for "Special merits in the field of inventions that are of great significance for the economic strength and defense of the USSR" Tsiolkovsky was awarded the Order of Red Banner of Labor.
Konstantin Tsiolkovsky died September 19, 1935 in Kaluga. The State Museum of the History of Cosmonautics, the world's first museum of space subject area, is named after Tsiolkovsky.
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