[SPACESHIP DESIGNED AND CALCULATED IN 19th CENTURY]
Two works in one binding:
Tsiolkovsky, K.E. Samostoiatel’noe gorizontal’noe dvizhenie upravliaemogo aerostata (novye formuly soprotivleniya vozdukha i dvizheniya aerostata) [i.e. Independent Horizontal Movement of Aerostat. New Formulas of Windage and Flights of the Aerostat]. Odessa: Tsentralnaia tipo-litogra ya, 1898. 22 pp.
Tsiolkovsky, K.E. Prostoe uchenie o vozdushnom korable i ego postroenii [i.e. Simple Study of Air Ship and Its Structure]. 2nd edition. Kaluga: tipo-litogr. Gubernskogo pravlenia, 1904. XV, 105 pp., 3 folding lithographic plates with 18 plans. 25x16 cm. Contemporary half leather binding. Very good. Private stamp ‘Nikolai Alexeevich Salakhanov’ on the second title page.
Both first editions. Extremely rare works by the pioneer of the space science.
The ‘Simple Study’ is the rst separate edition, before that it was published in the periodical ‘Obschedostupniy tekhnik’ [i.e. Public Tekhnician] without biography and graphics. The ‘Independent Horizontal Movement’ is an imprint from the periodical ‘Vestnik opytnoi ziki i elementarnoi matematiki’ [i.e. Herald of Experimental Physics and Elementary Mathematics] which is considered to be the rst Russian popular science magazine. The imprints like that were usually limited to 100 copies.
The ‘Independent Horizontal Movement’ consists of calculations regarding thrust force. They created the way to calculate the formula of escape velocity in the work ‘Exploration of Space by Reactive Devices’.
The ‘Simple Study’ includes the rst biography of Tsiolkovsky written by himself. Here he complains about lack of attention to his work from science community.
Tsiolkovsky was trying to promote his space ideas starting from 1880s but he was not taken seriously at the time. It was understandable as he never was attending the university and all his knowledge came from the studies in Chertkov library and conversations with Nikolay Fyodorov, the founder of Russian cosmism whom he met in the library as well.
During the 1890s Russian physical and technical community was aware of Tsiolkovsky’s efforts but the general consensus was that the works are too theoretical and can’t be applied to reality. Stoletov, Mendeleev, Zhukovsky were patronizing Tsiolkovsky one way or another.
One of the elements that was scaring off the science community was the author’s philosophy that he was always putting next to the calculations and formulas. One of the main qualities of aerostat for Tsiolkovsky was the capacity to carry big groups of people. That correlated with Fyodorov’s ideas about populating other planets.
On plan #18 Tsiolkovsky draw the different possible aerostats comparing them with the Pyramid of Cheops, Eiffel Tower and an ocean liner. The biggest aerostat is 4 times bigger than the pyramid. The assumptions like this cost Tsiolkovsky his reputations, in 1896 the periodical ‘Razvedchik’ [i.e. Scout] called his ‘fanatic scientist who can’t stop pushing his ideas about aerostat’. In the preface Tsiolkovsky mentions this but also writes about the support of local engineers in Kaluga that gave him hope.
The ‘Independent Horizontal Movement’ is a summary of all Tsilokovsky’s ideas to the date, written in the usual popular scienti c manner with mandatory cosmist ideas included.