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    The father of astronautics writes in 1901 that "The picture I am trying to create verbally is worthy of some great painters brush"

    Konstantin Tsiolkovsky Autograph Manuscript Signed "K. Tsiolkovsky" eight times. Twenty-eight pages, 8vo, 1901, in Russian. The manuscript is entitled Traveling Around the Earth: Relative Phenomena and Feelings During the Flight and Out of It." Page twenty-two contains the signature, "Must be tested K. Tsiolkovsky." In addition to the signatures are numerous hand drawings throughout the manuscript with English translations. Four of the twenty-eight pages are inserts with drawings. Also included is a supplement of four loose, folded pages with drawings and many calculations dated May 5, 1928. The manuscript is in grey ink on evenly browned paper with water markings on the right lower pages. Minor wear and small tears to edges, though the text is not affected. A complete English translation is included.

    This extraordinarily rare manuscript contains Tsiolkovsky's thoughts of an imaginary flight into space with discussions of his ideas and calculations for overcoming Earth's gravity in a rocket. Tsiolkovsky also writes about a hydrogen and oxygen engine, early thoughts of calculations of gravity and its effects on man, the appearance of the celestial views from space, what an observer from Earth will witness watching the flight, and the return to Earth with enhanced gravity. He also calls for an experimental method for verification of his ideas. Tsiolkovsky writes in the manuscript, "Before this trip becomes possible, it will take me years and years of strenuous work. . . . We don't even feel the Earth's gravity which we are used to. . . . It doesn't matter whether the substance put on a scale pan is of the same or different weight, so gold can't be sold by weight. . . . The picture I am trying to create verbally is worthy of some great painters brush. . . . We don't touch the floor either and can take any position or direction." Tsiolkovsky's manuscripts are highly coveted on the space history market. This is an exceptional piece from the father of astronautics.

    Born in 1857, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky was rendered deaf during a childhood bout with scarlet fever. He was largely self-taught and his first formal employment was as a "people's school teacher" in 1878. Although without any resources outside of his meager salary, Tsiolkovsky conducted his own engineering research. In 1883, he demonstrated the reaction principle while experimenting with opening a cask filled with compressed gas. In 1898 he finished a design of a reaction thrust motor. The following year, the Physics and Mathematics Department of the Academy of Science granted him 470 rubles to further research the principles of the reaction thrust motor. Tsiolkovsky published his first article on rocketry in 1903. It was a discussion of how a reaction thrust motor could demonstrate Newton's Third Law, allowing men to escape the gravitational force of the earth. In the same year the scientist produced his first design for a rocket. According to Tsiolkovsky's plan, the vessel was to be powered by a combination of liquid oxygen and hydrogen. Mixing at the end of a tube, the fuels would produce condensed and heated gases. Tsiolkovsky also hypothesized the creation of a "rocket train" (see below), a multistage rocket ship the layers of which would be discarded as the fuel they carried was consumed. In 1919 he was elected to the Socialist Academy (later the U.S.S.R. Academy of Science). During the course of this life, Tsiolkovsky produced approximately sixty works on physics, astronomy, and astronautics. In 1935 he published Na Lune (On the moon), a compilation of descriptions of rockets and the other pieces of machinery required for spaceflights.

    More Information:

    Following are excerpts from this monumental work:


    "The preview of a man (people) entering near the sun (space), making a flight around the Earth and as a next step conquering all space."


    ". . . the gravity inside the rocket is likely to increase 10 times."


    ". . .because when the rocket leaves the layers of the atmosphere, there is no friction and more and the flames gradually die out."


    "[T]he idea of rocket trains by itself will solve the problem of the fuel as well as many other problems."


    "I don't only return to my dream but I continue the research . . . even now in 1928."


    "Perhaps Galileo tried to explain to his judges all the importance of the thinking of his time. Using my knowledge, I'm trying to find the ways for casting the light on the great mysteries."

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2011
    3rd Friday
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