Slide 1: This slidecast will examine the life of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky . Konstantin Tsiolkovsky was one of the first among scientists and mathematicians to theorize and formulate scientific equations that would make space travel plausible.
Slide 2: His dream was for mankind to travel through the galaxy in rockets and the invention of space elevators that would make space accessible to all. His work was appealing to scientists and too readers of the science-fiction genre.
Slide 3: His hope for mankind was to disprove Thomas Malthus’ predicted catastrophe in An An Essay on the Principle of Population. In this essay, Malthus discussed the finiteness of the earth’s resources and stated that one day the population will face ‘Malthusian catastrophe’. Tsiolkovsky inspired by Jules Vernes and FydorovichFyodorov believed that space was the next frontier.
Tsiolkovsky took Jules Vernes concepts and made them mathematically plausible. He was supported by FydorovichFyodorov while in Moscow who, also inspired by Vernes advocated space and ocean colonization. The inspiration for the space elevator came from the newly constructed Eiffel Tower in Paris. With the space elevator, he believed space would be accessible by anyone.
Konstantin Tsiolkovsky wanted mankind to use the infiniteness of space. What makes him significant is that he reinforced his aspirations by deciphering the mathematics, physics and materials needed to fulfill his dreams. In a time where rockets were only used for fireworks and entertainment, Tsiolkovsky dared to fathom their potential in space. Making him a futurist as well as a visioneer.
He was born in Izhevskoye to a Polish father and a Russian mother. It was his father’s collection of works on natural science and mathematics which initiated his out of world endeavours. Tsiolkovsky stated that the idea of conquering space came to him when he came to the realization that centrifugal force can be used to propel objects into space. To display this, he constructed an apparatus which consisted of a closed chamber within which two vibrating pendulums with spheres. The force produced would then lift the box and potentially carry it into interplanetary space.
This idea led Tsiolkovsky to pursue aerodynamics and to discover the mathematics and logic needed to make his dream of space travel into a reality. In 1881, at the age of 24, he elaborated the fundamentals of kinetic theory of gases on his own and gave his proposal to the Society of Physics. Unfortunately, someone else had concluded this prior to Tsiolkovsky. Despite this setback, he continued his research.
It was his second paper entitled The Mechanics of the Animal Organism which validated him in the eyes of the Society of Physics and led to his enrollment. Tsiolkovsky stated that it was their constant support that encouraged his research. His work entitled Free Space written in the form of a diary in 1883, outlined the problems of classical mechanics in a space free from gravity’s resistance forces. (first source ends)
The vast canon of his work expressed his devotion solve scientific and engineering problems: the first was producing a fully functioning all metal dirigible, also known as a spaceship or rocket. His second problem was solving how this dirigible would be sent to space, this then led to the theory of rocket propulsion. It was this theory by Tsiolkovsky that became fundamental for space travel
In 1903, his original calculations of rocket flight were published. Tsiolkovsky said, “I could never proceed without calculation. It was calculation that direct my thought and my imagination”. His contemporary Russian influences were during the first half of the 19th century. Military engineers such as Alexander Zasyadko and Konstantin Konstantinov constructed war rockets charged with gun powder. Nikolai Kibachich, a chemist suggested a design of a flying platform propelled by gunpowder rockets. Slide 12: Tsiolkovsky and fellow scientis Ivan Meshchersky laid the foundation for new scientists through rocket dynamics and the mechanics of bodies with variable mass.
It was Tsiolkovksy who elaborated on Mescherksy’s work by adding the dymanics of rectilinear motion of the long range rocket with a reaction motor operating on liquid fuel. It was this work in combination with his theory of interplanetary flight that were the first in scientific literation. They are preserved even to this day due to their significance. Slide 14: His work was situated in a time where rocket propulsion had no prospects and were devoid of any pratical significance. In a time where rockets were only good for fireworks and entertainment, Tsiolkovsky added purpose.
Why is He a futurist?
• Pioneered physics and aerodynamics which
would eventually lead to space travel
• Set up ideas for future systems for space colonies
• Conceived the Space elevator to make space
accessible to all
• Knew his work would not be completed in his
lifetime so left over 400 works for later
• Did this all in a time where, “rocket propulsion
had no prospects and were devoid of any
Why Is He A Futurist?
• His ideas were used by NASA and other space
programs (liquid fuel, rocket propulsion etc.)
• He was a true visioneer.
• His goal was that one day, mankind would be
able to colonize the galaxy.