Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and space mindset

by Pablo Chávez,
PhD candidate at Polytechnique School of Montreal.

How far can we travel? Exploration is a passion that all humans have. Visiting another city, continent or perhaps a sea on the opposite side of the world? This may give goosebumps to some people though.

So, what about going to the moon or mars? What does it take to travel in space? How can we get there and, moreover, how can we move out there? This kind of questions surely arose in Konstantin Tsiolkovsky’s head when looking at the stars 180 km away from Moscow in the late 1800s.

Considered one of the fathers of rocketry and astronautics along with Esnault-Pelterie, Oberth and Goddard [2], he was nonetheless anti-social and, most of the times, considered eccentric (if not crazy). His ideas ranged from the formula that relates the motion of a body of variable mass, to colonizing our galaxy (the Milky Way). He was as well a philosopher that aimed for truth and free thinking, which is required in a scientist’s mindset.

 source: thelivingmoon.com

source: thelivingmoon.com

Tsiolkovsky did not live long enough to see his ideas rocketing away (literally), but he led to a particular way of thinking. Let’s consider him as a spark in the darkness; a spark that would boost others’ minds (like Von Braun’s or later-coming scientists), who never gave up on their dream of reaching the outer space.


[1] http://tsiolkovsky.org/en/cosmic-philosophy- by-tsiolkovsky/

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konstantin_Tsiolkovsky