Tsiolkovsky (1857-1935) was a self-taught scientist, who wrote numerous works relating to space and astronautics, many of which he published at his own expense and were never widely circulated. This article, however, was an important one and includes his calculation that the minimum horizontal speed required for orbit around the earth is 8,000 metres per second; it also contains his proof that rockets could travel in space. Published here for the first time is the equation now known as the Tsiolkovsky Rocket Equation, which describes the motion of vehicles that follow the basic principle of a rocket.
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