Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky

From Quotes
We live everything as it comes, without warning, like an actor going on cold. And what can life be worth if the first rehearsal for life is life itself? That is why life is always a sketch. No sketch is not quite the right word, because a sketch is an outline of something, the groundwork for a picture, whereas the sketch that is our life is a sketch of nothing, an outline with no picture.
Milan Kundera
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Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky

Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky (Konstanty Ciołkowski, Константин Эдуардович Циолковский; September 5 (new style) 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"), 19?? (= "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 randomness, giving the illusion of free will.


  • Men are weak now, and yet they transform the Earth’s surface. In millions of years their might will increase to the extent that they will change the surface of the Earth, its oceans, the atmosphere and themselves. They will control the climate and the solar system just as they control the Earth. They will travel beyond the limits of our planetary system; they will reach other Suns and use their fresh energy instead of the energy of their dying luminary. [7]
  • Man must at all costs overcome the Earth's gravity and have, in reserve, the space at least of the Solar System.[8]
  • A lot of my discoveries have already been discovered before. I only see personal significance in these works, as they gave me self-confidence... At first, I've been making long-known discoveries, then not so long-known ones, and then completely new ones.[9]

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