Konstantin Tsiolkovsky was an innovator all his life. Many of his ideas were ahead of their time, but were implemented decades later: here are two striking examples.
In 1895, life was in full swing on the streets of the provincial town of Borovsk.
"Oh, now I'll give it to you!" Someone shouted around the corner, and the wind brought the sound of hitting and dogs barking. What can you come up with in this situation? How to repair fences, borrow money from neighbors until payday. But as Tsiolkovsky, 38, walked to his home on Krugraya Street (where he lived for a while before moving to Kaluga), his mind was high, higher than anyone could have imagined.
Photo of Borovsk at the beginning of the century.
While one sees the wonder of the world in distant Moscow - the first electric light near the Kremlin comes on, Tsiolkovsky is working on something completely unimaginable - a space elevator. Cables connect Earth and orbital stations hovering in space.
As scientists believe, when the cable passes a drunk sleeping in a tavern, it carries a load, and the movement of the load accelerates due to the rotation of the earth. Today, a century later, this long-standing project has proven to be very real: Japan's JAXA space agency and NASA in the United States are working on building a space elevator.
Tsiolkovsky's home in Kaluga - today.
1927 On the second floor of an ordinary wooden house in Kaluga, the wooden floor creaks: a 70-year-old man is pacing left and right, refusing to come down for lunch. He held up his glasses and muttered something very strange in his voice: "... The friction of the train is almost destroyed by the excess air between the floor of the carriage and the adjacent tracks...".
In his studio, Tsiolkovsky was finishing the book "Air Resistance and Fast Trains", in which he described the principle of movement of trains on air cushions, which can reach speeds of up to a hundred kilometers per hour.
Any Kaluga resident will tell this scientist that this is complete nonsense (Tsiolkovsky is generally considered eccentrics in the city). Although the train project never materialized, the "air cushion" technology itself is now everywhere: such ships in Russia, for example, can transport passengers across frozen rivers and lakes.
Kaluga at the beginning of the century, Tsiolkovsky used to walk through these streets.
Tsiolkovsky did not like to leave home. Sitting in his office, he came up with something more: the first prototype of a wind tunnel in the USSR (new rockets and aircraft are still being tested with the help of similar tubes), he gave the first extremely realistic description of the lunar landscape (82 years before the first human landing on the moon) and created a project of a giant airship with a metal casing (which was not yet built at that time). He also invented his own gas turbine engine design and proposed a "bottom-retractable casing" for the aircraft's landing gear.