Konstantin Tsiolkovsky

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Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky

Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky (Konstanty Ciołkowski, Константин Эдуардович Циолковский; September 17 (old style: September 5) 1857 - September 19 1935) was a Soviet Russian rocket scientist and pioneer of cosmonautics.


  • Планета есть колыбель разума, но нельзя вечно жить в колыбели [1]
    • from a letter written in 1911
    • Transliteration: Planyeta yest' kolybyel razuma, no nyelzya vietchno zhit' v kolybyeli
    • Translation: A planet is the cradle of mind, but one cannot live in a cradle forever.
    • usually cited as Earth is the cradle of humanity, but one cannot live in a cradle forever. [2]
  • His epitaph, written by himself (translation): Man will not always stay on Earth; the pursuit of light and space will lead him to penetrate the bounds of the atmosphere, timidly at first, but in the end to conquer the whole of solar space.
    • Mentioned in Beyond the Planet Earth, by K. Tsiolkovsky (1920), translated by K. Syers (1960), reviewed by M. G. Whillans, Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 55 (1961), p. 144 [3]
  • Translation: All the Universe is full of the life of perfect creatures.
    • from "The Scientific Ethics", 1930 [4]
  • Translation: The blue distance, the mysterious Heavens, the example of birds and insects flying everywhere —are always beckoning Humanity to rise into the air.
    • from "The Successes of Air Balloons in the XIX Century", 1901 [5]
  • Ничего не признаю, кроме материи. В физике, химии и биологии я вижу одну механику. Весь космос только бесконечный и сложный механизм. Сложность его так велика, что граничит с произволом, неожиданностью и случайностью, она дает иллюзию свободной воли сознательных существ. [6]
    • from Монизм Вселенной ("Monism of the Universe"), 1931(?) (= "The Cosmic Philosophy", 1932 ?)
    • Translation: I recognize nothing that is not material. In physics, chemistry and biology I see only mechanics. The Universe is nothing but an infinite and complex mechanism. Its complexity is so great that it borders on willfulness, suddenness, and randomness; it gives the illusion of free will possessed by conscious beings.
  • Мир отчаянно несовершенен. Коли бы четвертая часть человеческих работников была поглощена новыми мыслями и изобретениями и сидела бы на шее остальных, то человечество все же чрезмерно бы выиграло благодаря непрерывному потоку изобретений и интеллектуальных трудов, исходящих из этой оравы стремящихся ввысь.
    • from Гений среди людей ("The Genius of the People") -- a manuscript written in 1918
    • ** Translation: “The world is desperately imperfect. Even if a quarter of the working people were engrossed in new thoughts and inventions and lived off the others, humanity would still gain tremendously thanks to the constant stream of inventions and intellectual work emerging from this horde of people striving upward.”
  • Tolstoy was an advocate of non-resistance only because he was protected from people’s impudence by his innumerable friends. One man can stand for non-resistance, because those who stand for resistance will protect him. You will not be able to do without resistance advocates.

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