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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index T > Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky Quotes

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Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky
(17 Sep 1857 - 19 Sep 1935)

Russian physicist and space theorist , a pioneer in his field, who worked out many of the principles of space travel and became known as the 'father of cosmonautics.'


Science Quotes by Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky (14 quotes)

All the Universe is full of the life of perfect creatures.
— Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky
In The Scientific Ethics (1930), 20.
Science quotes on:  |  Creature (127)  |  Full (38)  |  Life (917)  |  Perfect (46)  |  Universe (563)

First, inevitably, the idea, the fantasy, the fairy tale. Then, scientific calculation. Ultimately, fulfillment crowns the dream.
— Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky
Science quotes on:  |  Calculation (67)  |  Crown (19)  |  Dream (92)  |  Fairy Tale (6)  |  Fantasy (7)  |  Fulfillment (9)  |  Idea (440)  |  Scientific (169)  |  Ultimately (11)

For me, a rocket is only a means--only a method of reaching the depths of space—and not an end in itself… There's no doubt that it's very important to have rocket ships since they will help mankind to settle elsewhere in the universe. But what I'm working for is this resettling… The whole idea is to move away from the Earth to settlements in space.
— Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky
Science quotes on:  |  Mankind (196)  |  Means (109)  |  Method (154)  |  Migration (7)  |  Rocket (29)  |  Settle (10)  |  Space (154)  |  Universe (563)

From the rocket we can see the huge sphere of the planet in one or another phase of the Moon. We can see how the sphere rotates, and how within a few hours it shows all its sides successively ... and we shall observe various points on the surface of the Earth for several minutes and from different sides very closely. This picture is so majestic, attractive and infinitely varied that I wish with all my soul that you and I could see it. (1911)
— Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky
As translated in William E. Burrows, The Survival Imperative: Using Space to Protect Earth (2007), 147. From Tsiolkovsky's 'The Investigation of Universal Space by Means of Reactive Devices', translated in K.E. Tsiolkovsky, Works on Rocket Technology (NASA, NASATT F-243, n.d.), 76-77.
Science quotes on:  |  Attractive (5)  |  Earth (487)  |  Infinitely (8)  |  Majestic (7)  |  Moon (132)  |  Observe (48)  |  Phase (14)  |  Picture (55)  |  Planet (199)  |  Rocket (29)  |  Rotate (5)  |  See (197)  |  Soul (139)  |  Sphere (40)  |  Surface (74)  |  Varied (4)  |  Wish (62)

I do not remember how it got into my head to make first calculations related to rocket. It seems to me the first seeds were planted by famous fantaseour, J. Verne.
— Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky
As quoted in LIFE: 100 People Who Changed the World (2010), 94.
Science quotes on:  |  Calculation (67)  |  Inspiration (50)  |  Rocket (29)  |  Seed (52)  |  Jules Verne (11)

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 willfulness, suddenness, and randomness; it gives the illusion of free will possessed by conscious beings.
— Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky
In Monism of the Universe (1931).
Science quotes on:  |  Biology (150)  |  Chemistry (239)  |  Complex (78)  |  Infinite (88)  |  Material (124)  |  Mechanics (44)  |  Mechanism (41)  |  Physics (301)  |  Recognize (41)  |  Universe (563)

Man must at all costs overcome the Earth’s gravity and have, in reserve, the space at least of the Solar System. All kinds of danger wait for him on the Earth… We are talking of disaster that can destroy the whole of mankind or a large part of it… For instance, a cloud of bolides [meteors] or a small planet a few dozen kilometers in diameter could fall on the Earth, with such an impact that the solid, liquid or gaseous blast produced by it could wipe off the face of the Earth all traces of man and his buildings. The rise of temperature accompanying it could alone scorch or kill all living beings… We are further compelled to take up the struggle against gravity, and for the utilization of celestial space and all its wealth, because of the overpopulation of our planet. Numerous other terrible dangers await mankind on the Earth, all of which suggest that man should look for a way into the Cosmos. We have said a great deal about the advantages of migration into space, but not all can be said or even imagined.
— Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky
Science quotes on:  |  Blast (7)  |  Danger (62)  |  Disaster (36)  |  Earth (487)  |  Gravity (89)  |  Impact (21)  |  Kill (37)  |  Mankind (196)  |  Meteor (14)  |  Migration (7)  |  Planet (199)  |  Solar System (48)

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
— Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky
Epitaph he wrote for himself, engraved in bronze letters on the tall grey stone obelisk raised over his grave. As translated by Kenneth Syers and given in the English edition, Beyond the Planet Earth (1960) of K. Tsiolkovsky’s original Russian book (1920). Also seen translated as, “Mankind will not remain on the earth forever, but, in search of light and space, will at first timidly penetrate beyond the limits of the atmosphere and then finally conquer the spaces of the solar system.”
Science quotes on:  |  Mankind (196)  |  Space Travel (13)

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.
— Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky
In Plan of Space Exploration (1926). Quote as translated in Vitaliĭ Ivanovich Sevastʹi︠a︡nov, ‎Arkadiĭ Dmitrievich Ursul, ‎I︠U︡riĭ Andreevich Shkolenko, The Universe and Civilisation (1981), 104.
Science quotes on:  |  Atmosphere (63)  |  Change (291)  |  Climate (38)  |  Control (93)  |  Earth (487)  |  Energy (185)  |  Ocean (115)  |  Planetary (5)  |  Solar System (48)  |  Sun (211)  |  Surface (74)  |  Transform (20)  |  Travel (40)  |  Weak (36)

My entire life consisted of musings, calculations, practical works and trials. Many questions remain unanswered; many works are incomplete or unpublished. The most important things still lie ahead.
— Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky
As quoted in Air & Space Smithsonian (2002), 17, 69.
Science quotes on:  |  Ahead (14)  |  Calculation (67)  |  Important (124)  |  Incomplete (14)  |  Life (917)  |  Practical (93)  |  Question (315)  |  Trial (23)  |  Unanswered (3)  |  Work (457)

The blue distance, the mysterious Heavens, the example of birds and insects flying everywhere, are always beckoning Humanity to rise into the air.
— Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky
In The Successes of Air Balloons in the 19th Century (1901), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (151)  |  Beckon (2)  |  Bird (96)  |  Blue (30)  |  Distance (54)  |  Example (57)  |  Flying (18)  |  Heaven (118)  |  Humanity (104)  |  Insect (57)  |  Mysterious (21)  |  Rise (51)

The Earth is the cradle of humanity, but we cannot live forever in a cradle.
— Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky
In a Letter (1911) from Kaluga. A more direct translation from the letter is, “A planet is the cradle of mind, but one cannot live in a cradle forever.”
Science quotes on:  |  Cradle (10)  |  Earth (487)  |  Forever (42)  |  Humanity (104)  |  Live (186)

The world is desperately imperfect. Even if a quarter of the working people were engrossed in new thoughts and inventions and lived off the others, humanity would still gain tremendously thanks to the constant stream of inventions and intellectual work emerging from this horde of people striving upward.
— Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky
Manuscript (1918), 'The Genius of the People'.
Science quotes on:  |  Gain (48)  |  Humanity (104)  |  Imperfect (10)  |  Invention (283)  |  World (667)

To set foot on the soil of the asteroids, to lift by hand a rock from the Moon, to observe Mars from a distance of several tens of kilometers, to land on its satellite or even on its surface, what can be more fantastic? From the moment of using rocket devices a new great era will begin in astronomy: the epoch of the more intensive study of the firmament.
— Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky
(1896). As quoted in Firmin Joseph Krieger, Behind the Sputniks: A Survey of Soviet Space Science (1958), 23.
Science quotes on:  |  Asteroid (11)  |  Astronomy (175)  |  Begin (52)  |  Epoch (12)  |  Era (14)  |  Fantastic (7)  |  Firmament (11)  |  Foot (39)  |  Great (300)  |  Intensive (7)  |  Land (83)  |  Mars (26)  |  Moon (132)  |  Observe (48)  |  Rock (107)  |  Rocket (29)  |  Satellite (22)  |  Soil (51)  |  Study (331)  |  Surface (74)


See also:

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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