EARLY ROCKETRYTSIOLKOVSKY MANUSCRIPT.
"THE CONQUERING OF SOLAR SPACE IS A NECESSITY..."
Autograph Manuscript Signed 4 times ("K. Tsiolkovsky"), entitled "Latest thoughts regarding construction of jet devices, in the work The Exploration of Cosmic Space by Means of Reaction Devices [rockets]," in Russian, 8 pp recto and verso, 9½ x 6 inches, no place, 1912, one diagram, partly stitched together. Browned, some chips and wear without loss to text, final leaf shorter.
Konstantin Tsiolkovsky [1857-1935] is considered, with Hermann Oberth and Robert Goddard, one of the founding fathers of rocketry and space flight. He inspired Wernher von Braun and Sergey Korolyov, and in his landmark 1903 work The Exploration of Cosmic Space by Means of Reaction Devices he calculated that the minimum speed needed for Earth orbit was 5 miles a second.
Curiously, Tsiolkovsky seemed content to theorize, and never built a rocket. He may have considered himself more like Jules Verne, whose novels he had read, than a practical scientist. Nonetheless, he was prolific in his writing and produced designs for steering thrusters, multi-stage boosters, space stations, airlocks and closed-cycle biological systems.
In the present manuscript, Tsiolkovsky is typically lyrical. In part, translated: "The destiny of a scientist is always hard ... The publication of my presentation [presumably the 1903 book] has evoked both enthusiastic responses and censures. I am accused of much fantasy and importunity by asking too many questions. Theymy opponentsforget that fantasy has always been one of the main engines of science."
Tsiolkovsky goes on to sketch a rocket, and explains, "Minimal resistance for the rocket flight is necessary both for launch of a rocket and for the flight continuation in vacuum space." He continues, "It is necessary to reflect on means of existence during the flight and if it is possible to carry out the experiments ... Certainly many are frightened by this progressive idea, but life itself will make mankind do everything possible to solve this problem. The conquering of solar space is a necessity dictated by the experience of all history of mankind. K. Tsiolkovsky."
With letter from the Director of the Tsiolkovsky Museum in Kaluga, Russia, attesting to the manuscript's authenticity.