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Archive for the ‘Astrophysics’ Category

Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky (17 September 1857 – 19 September 1935) was an Imperial Russian and Soviet rocket scientist and pioneer of the astronautic theory. Along with his followers the German Hermann Oberth and the American Robert H. Goddard, he is considered to be one of the founding fathers of rocketry and astronautics.His works later inspired leading Soviet rocket engineers such as Sergey Korolyov and Valentin Glushko and contributed to the success of the Soviet space program.

Tsiolkovsky spent most of his life in a log house on the outskirts of Kaluga, about 200 km (120 mi) southwest of Moscow. A recluse by nature, he appeared strange and bizarre to his fellow town-folk.

Tsiolkovsky stated that he developed the theory of rocketry only as a supplement to philosophical research on the subject.

Although many called his ideas impractical, Tsiolkovsky influenced later rocket scientists throughout Europe, like Russian search teams at Peenemünde found a German translation of a book by Tsiolkovsky of which “almost every page…was embellished by von Braun’s comments and notes.” Leading Russian rocket-engine designer Valentin Glushko and rocket designer Sergey Korolyov studied Tsiolkovsky’s works as youths, and both sought to turn Tsiolkovsky’s theories into reality. In particular, Korolyov saw traveling to Mars as the more important priority, until in 1964 he decided to compete with the American Project Apollo for the moon.

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One of the pioneers of Science Fiction, Isaac Asimov invented or popularized many of the genre’s tropes – Robot Buddies, Galactic Empires, world-spanning cities – but is best known for the Laws of Robotics and the Foundation Trilogy, both early works. He is considered one of the “Big Three” of Science Fiction along with Arthur C. Clarke and Robert A. Heinlein, and is the owner of one seriously awesome pair of sideburns.

Dr. Asimov was a professor of biochemistry, and one of the most prolific writers of science fiction and fact in history, with novels, short stories, scholarly articles, books about writing itself, a book of facts and at least two joke books to his credit.

“Science does not purvey absolute truth, science is a mechanism. It’s a way of trying to improve your knowledge of nature, it’s a system for testing your thoughts against the universe and seeing whether they match.”  (1988 interview)

Isaac Asimov (Birth January 2, 1920 – death April 6, 1992): Russian, born American author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. Asimov was one of the most prolific writers of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. His works have been published in all ten major categories of the Dewey Decimal System (although his only work in the 100s — which covers philosophy and psychology — was a foreword for The Humanist Way).President of the American Humanist Association and one Isaac Asimov literary award are named in his honor.

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“Once we have computer outlets in every home, each of them hooked up to enormous libraries where anyone can ask any question and be given answers, be given reference materials, be something you’re interested in knowing, from an early age, however silly it might seem to someone else… that’s what YOU are interested in, and you can ask, and you can find out, and you can do it in your own home, at your own speed, in your own direction, in your own time… Then, everyone would enjoy learning. Nowadays, what people call learning is forced on you, and everyone is forced to learn the same thing on the same day at the same speed in class, and everyone is different.”

Isaac Asimov (1988 interview)

Isaac Asimov (Birth January 2, 1920 – death April 6, 1992): Russian, born American author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. Asimov was one of the most prolific writers of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. His works have been published in all ten major categories of the Dewey Decimal System (although his only work in the 100s — which covers philosophy and psychology — was a foreword for The Humanist Way). President of the American Humanist Association and one Isaac Asimov literary award are named in his honor.

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