Image Credit: BBC News

Konstantin Tsiolkovsky
The image above is a Sketch from 1895 of a Gold Mine in Operation on the Moon by Konstantin Tsiolkovsky. "Dreams of the Earth and Sky" (1895)

The tube connecting the pyramid shaped towers  are clear glass as he shows people inside. This image would be of the Farside judging by the position of the Earth in the drawing and the shape of the spaceship above being that of what we call a standard UFO today is very interesting indeed.

He was a man ahead of his time, the Father of the liquid fuel rocket and even designed a space station with a revolving Torus (for gravity) complete with solar collectors, solar panels and a dish antenna...  in 1896!!!!  So how did he know about the Farside Mining Operation?

It is thus fitting that we begin our presentation of "The Secrets of Tsiolkovsky" with a brief summary of the man the crater was named after...

Before the Wright Brothers made their first flight, this man was designing space stations and liquid fueled rockets. He published his works in 1903, three months before man's first historic flight.  His favorite fuel being liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. Hydrogen was very difficult to produce back then. At the same time he realized that we would need multistage rockets to achieve orbit.

Sept 07, 2007

1895 of a gold mine in operation on the moon...
Reported in three newspaper articles

Delphos Daily Herald, The Wednesday, February 06, 1895 Delphos, Ohio
Evening News, The (Newspaper) - March 12, 1895, Lincoln, Nebraska
Delphos Daily Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 28, 1895, Delphos, Ohio

Also the Gold Mine Sketch is featured on two websites;

In pictures: Living on the Moon, BBC News, 5 December 2006
"This sketch from 1895 shows a gold mine in operation on the Moon, tapping into fabulous resources."

Internet Encyclopedia of Science, David Darling, Moon Base
"The idea of a colony on the Moon has long been a favorite of science fiction writers and space visionaries. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky described such a base, as did others as long ago as the late 19th and early 20th centuries."

Tsiolkovsky, Konstantin Eduardovich (1857-1935)
Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky State Museum of the History of Cosmonautics
Russian physicist and school teacher, regarded as the founder of modern rocket theory. Born in the small town of Izhevskoye almost exactly 100 years before his country placed the world's first artificial satellite in orbit, Tsiolkovsky developed the mathematics of rocketry and pioneered a number of ideas crucial to space travel including that of multistage launch vehicles. He later recalled:

    "For a long time I thought of the rocket as everybody else did – just as a means of diversion and of petty everyday uses. I do not remember exactly what prompted me to make calculations of its motions. Probably the first seeds of the idea were sown by that great fantastic author Jules Verne – he directed my thought along certain channels, then came a desire, and after that, the work of the mind." - Tsiolkovsky

Early Years

At age nine, Tsiolkovsky went deaf following a bout of scarlet fever, an event that prevented him from attending school but led him to become an avid reader. An early interest in flight and model balloons was encouraged by his parents. His mother died when he was 13 and his father was poor, but he taught himself mathematics, and went to technical college in Moscow. There he found an enlightened mentor named Nikolai Fyodorov (whose admirers were said to include Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, and Leonid Pasternak, Boris’ father). Fyodorov tutored the young Tsiolkovsky in the library daily for some three years, introducing him to books on mathematics and science and discoursing with him on the philosophical imperative leading humankind towards space exploration.

At the age of 17, while living in Moscow, he first dreamed about the possibility of space flight. He was, in part, inspired by the novels of Jules Verne. Since that time he started to think about the problems of space vehicle design. His great purpose was not simply to go into outer space, but to live in space, for humainity to become a space civilization.

In 1878, Tsiolkovsky became a math teacher in Kaluga, two hours south of the capital. Although he carried out some experiments with steam engines, pumps, and fans in his home laboratory, his strength lay in theoretical work. “It was calculation that directed my thought and my imagination,” he wrote.

Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky State Museum of the History of Cosmonautics 

The Science of Rockets

Tsiolkovsky produced some of the earliest scientific literature on space flight, including the classic work Exploration of Space by Means of Reactive Apparatus (1896). In 1898 he derived the basic formula that determines how rockets perform – the rocket equation. This formula was first published in 1903, a few months before the Wright brothers’ historic manned flight. It appeared, together with many other of Tsiolkovsky's seminal ideas on space flight, in an article called “Investigating Space with Rocket Devices,” in the Russian journal Nauchnoye Obozreniye (Science Review). Unfortunately, the same issue also ran a political revolutionary piece that led to its confiscation by the Tsarist authorities. Since none of Tsiolkovsky's subsequent writings were widely circulated at the time (he paid for their publication himself out of his meager teachers wage), it was many years before news of his work spread to the West.

The 1903 article also discussed different combinations of rocket propellants and how they could be used to power a manned spacecraft:

    "Visualize ... an elongated metal chamber ... designed to protect not only the various physical instruments but also a human pilot... The chamber is partly occupied by a large store of substances which, on being mixed, immediately form an explosive mass. This mixture, on exploding in a controlled and fairly uniform manner at a chosen point, flows in the form of hot gases through tubes with flared ends, shaped like a cornucopia or a trumpet. These tubes are arranged lengthwise along the walls of the chamber. At the narrow end of the tube the explosives are mixed: this is where the dense, burning gases are obtained. After undergoing intensive rarefaction and cooling, the gases explode outward into space at a tremendous relative velocity at the other, flared end of the tube. Clearly, under definite conditions, such a projectile will ascend like a rocket..."- Tsiolkovsky

One of the propellant combinations that Tsiolkovsky favored, used commonly today in launch vehicles, was liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen because it produces a particularly high exhaust velocity. This factor, the rocket equation reveals, helps determine the maximum speed that a spacecraft of given mass can reach. There was the problem of converting hydrogen, especially, into liquid; yet, to begin with, Tsiolkovsky brushed this aside. He did note, however, that: “The hydrogen may be replaced by a liquid or condensed hydrocarbon; for example, acetylene or petroleum.”

His rocket equation led him to another important realization:

    If a single stage rocket is to attain cosmic velocity it must carry an immense store of fuel. Thus, to reach the first cosmic velocity [his term for the speed needed to enter Earth orbit], 8 km/s, the weight of fuel must exceed that of the whole rocket (payload included) by at least four times... The stage principle, on the other hand, enables us either to obtain high cosmic velocities, or to employ comparatively small amounts of propellant components.

The concept of the multistage rocket had been known to firework makers for at least two centuries. But Tsiolkovsky was the first to analyze it in depth, and he concluded that it was the only feasible way of enabling a spacecraft to escape from the Earth's gravity.

Journey to the Cosmos

Tsiolkovsky design for a manned spacecraft

Having solved in principle many of the physical problems of space flight, Tsiolkovsky turned to the biological difficulties. He proposed immersing astronauts in water to reduce the effects of acceleration at takeoff, and cultivating plants onboard spacecraft to recycle oxygen and provide food. He wrote about space suits, zero g showers, utilizing solar energy, and colonizing the solar system.

He also wrote extensively and far ahead of his time on the possibility of life on other worlds. Some extraterrestrial life forms, he proposed, might consist entirely of hydrogen (like the intelligent nebula in Fred Hoyle's The Black Cloud). Tsiolkovsky also wondered if there might be beings so advanced that they were essentially a disembodied consciousness. In his Monism of the Universe (1925), he suggests that superior entities might systematically eliminate lower creatures, such as animals and bacteria, rather than have them endure the painful process of biological evolution. Furthermore, he argued that somewhere a race had progressed technologically to the point at which it could "overcome the force of gravity and ... colonize the Universe." Although he believed interstellar travel was achievable, he argued in a letter to the Organization of Young Technicians (1920) that, "In the near future short radio waves will penetrate our atmosphere and ... be the main means of stellar communication," thus presaging the science of SETI.


In Russia, Tsiolkovsky's writings had a powerful influence on Valentin Glushko, Sergei Korolev, Igor Merkulov, Alexander Polyarny, and others, who would lay the foundations for the Soviet space program. In the West, his work was virtually unknown until the 1930s by which time practical rocketry had developed independently through the efforts of men like Hermann Oberth in Germany and Robert Goddard in the United States.

After the Bolshevik revolution of 1917 and the creation of the Soviet Union, Tsiolkovsky was formally recognized for his accomplishments and, in 1921, received a lifetime pension from the state that allowed him to retire from teaching and devote himself fully to his studies. Appropriately, for a man who remained largely unrecognized during life, his greatest monument is normally invisible to human eyes - the giant crater Tsiolkovsky on the far side of the Moon

Article by David Darling
Tsiolkovsky, Konstantin Eduardovich (1857-1935)

The Internet Encyclopedia of Science

Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky State Museum 
of the History of Cosmonautics
Tsiolkovsky's Sketches




This was the first drawing of Tsiolkovsky's of a space vehicle, from "Free Space" (1883). It shows cosmonauts in weightlessness, gyroscopes for attitude control, and an airlock for exit into free space.

This drawing from 1932 shows cosmonauts in weightlessness looking through their window at the stars. A drawing from 1932 of a space greenhouse in an orbiting space station 1932 drawing of the use of an airlock and space suit to enter and exit a space vehicle in weightlessness.

Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky State Museum of the History of Cosmonautics

History in Postage Stamps
Interesting Facts and Connections

Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky State Museum of the History of Cosmonautics 

Fact: He built the first Russian wind tunnel in 1897.

In December, 1996, U.S. Astronaut John Blaha, aboard the Russian space station MIR, harvested the first wheat crop completely grown in space, thus fulfilling Step 9 of Tsiolkovsky's 16 step plan for the first time.

The “Celestial Castle” - Space Elevator

The idea originated in 1895 with a Russian scientist named Konstantin Tsiolkovsky in his book, "Speculations about Earth and Sky and on Vesta.". At the time the world’s highest structure was the Eiffel Tower built in 1889. Tsiolkovsky envisioned a much larger version of the tower with a cable on top extending thousands of miles up into space. The cable would end at a “Celestial Castle” – his version of a space station – in geosynchronous orbit. From there, space ships could easily depart Earth for distant planets. 

 Tsiolkovsky Dirigible

"Konstantin Tsiolkovsky was the founder not only of modern rocketry but also of dirigible technology," Sergei Bendin said. "His unfinished dirigible was used in a rather original way. The metal ribs of its frame were used to decorate the dome of the Mayakovskaya Metro station in Moscow." - The Moscow News

Sergey Pavlovich Korolyov (often spelled Korolev) was the head Soviet rocket engineer and designer during the Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1950s and 1960s.  For a time, Korolev was imprisoned in a  Soviet gulag where he worked (basically as a slave) as a gold miner.  - Wikipedia

In early 1945, Wernher Von Braun and his German rocket team hid the most important documents related to their rockets in a mine shaft.  After Von Braun's team surrendered to the Americans, the documents were recovered and transported to the United States where they played a vital role in America's space program.
 - Dickson, op. cit, p. 104.

Sergei Korolev (1907-1966)

The founding father of the Soviet Space Programme, Korolev started his career designing the aerodynamics for one of the simplest forms of flying - the glider. But from 1932 onwards, he turned his intellect and attention to jet propulsion and then to rocket science. His designs included Russia's first rocket propelled manned aircraft, the RP-318.

In 1938, Korolev was jailed on Stalin's orders. As a prisoner, he was made to work first in a gold mine, and later in one of the newly created ‘prison design bureau’ where he worked with the famous aircraft designer, Tupolev.

In 1942 he was transferred to work as deputy director for flight testing of rocket assisted aircraft and later became part of a team developing a jet powered equivalent of the German V-1. After his release from prison, Korolev went to Germany as part of a team sent by Stalin to find out as much as possible about German rocket technology.  - Source

N.S. Kardeshev, Transmission of information by non terrestrial civilizations, Soviet
Astronomy, 8, 217 (1964); C. Sagan and I.S. Shklovskii, Intelligent Life in the Universe, p. 469, Dell, New York (1966), point out that Constantin Edwardovich Tsiolkovskii, a Russian space pioneer, speculated about astronomical manipulation of the environment in his 1895 book Dreams of the Earth and Sky. He claimed that we
received only 5 X 10-10 of the total solar flux. We could use it all by colonizing the
whole solar system, rebuilding asteroids into a chain of cities and controlling them
and minor planets 'in the same way that we drive horses', using 'solar motors'
(batteries), and this 'could easily support 3 X 1023 beings.' - Source PDF Format

On "Critters":
It seems Tsiolkovsky defined the possibility of "Critters"

He also wrote extensively and far ahead of his time on the possibility of life on other worlds. Some extraterrestrial life forms, he proposed, might consist entirely of hydrogen (like the intelligent nebula in Fred Hoyle's The Black Cloud). Tsiolkovsky also wondered if there might be beings so advanced that they were essentially a disembodied consciousness. In his Monism of the Universe (1925)

Books by Konstantin Tsiolkovsky

Early edition of Tsiolkovsky's book entitled "Grezy o Zemle i Nebe" (Dreams of Earth and Sky)

Early edition of Tsiolkovsky's science fiction novel entitled "Na Lune" (On the Moon)

Early edition of Tsiolkovsky's science fiction novel entitled "Na Lune" (On the Moon)

Tsiolkovsky's Manuscripts are rare and expensive. However there are some available. The following page has some grreat scans of pages and abstracts, with the source for those copies. They are several thousand dollars each.  Tsiolkovsky's Manuscripts

The Books listed below ARE currently available from Amazon.com

Selected Works Of Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky
by Konstantin Tsiolkovsky
Science Fiction of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky 
by Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Adam Starchild
Dreams of Earth and Sky
by Konstanti Tsiolkovsky
On the Moon 
by Konstantin Tsiolkovsky
by Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky


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