Leaving Our Cradle - Part 1

“The earth is the cradle of humankind, but one cannot live in the cradle forever." - Tsiolkovsky
Leaving Our Cradle
Part - 1
- Vikram S.Virulkar.

For some of you, these words might have brought back a dim a memory of a famous quote by Konstantin Tsiolkovsky the Russian Pioneer who was instrumental in many ways for modern rockets and what he really said was, “The earth is the cradle of humankind, but one cannot live in the cradle forever." He compared our planet to an enormous cradle; I cannot help but term these words as Visionary. I feel compelled to agree with him.

To some, the meaning of these words is purely metaphorical but to others it is a picture of untainted reality, and it is ,perhaps in accepting this very truth, are we filled with a courage, that inspires us to leave the very cradle we were born in and walk on our two feet as human beings.

We cannot turn a blind eye to what lies in front of us as a species, we will one day leave this planet behind and roam the Cosmos, It is our destiny, if we don’t destroy ourselves first. This series takes a look at some of those attempts by us to leave that cradle, both as a race encompassing all mankind  and as a country ravaged by its  own problems, but chose to look up to the heavens.

Video on Konstantin Tsiolkovsky

I think its is quite safe  to assume that any serious thought on space flight didn’t start until the mid- 19th Century, the century which witnessed the birth of Novelists like Jules Verne who postulated the idea of leaving our home planet behind and visiting other worlds in a rocket ship, which he so artistically displayed in his classic 1865 novel “From the Earth to the Moon”, in which  a group of brave individuals giving little thought of serious harm, take upon themselves the adventure of visiting a alien planet(or the moon for that matter).

Even H.G.Wells’s classic 1898 novel, the “War of the Worlds” which is about aliens from Mars invading the earth caused a lot in interest in the idea of travelling to other worlds.

Early advanced in Astronautics were ushered in by pioneers like Tsiolkovsky, Goddard and others. Tsiolkovsky derived the now famous “Rocket Equation” or “Tsiolkovsky Equation” which illustrates mathematically how a body can counter the gravitational force of the earth by losing mass.(this quite basically means burning fuel).

Using this equation and its derivations as a Rosetta Stone for Rocketry, many scientists carried forward his legacy by building rockets which implemented this idea, most notably, Robert Goddard, an American who built and tested several rockets during his lifetime.

Many consider Goddard as the man responsible for spaceflight, while Tsiolkovsky, who derived and postulated many ideas about Space Flight did not live to see major work being conducted in his lifetime and his ideas were worked upon by future scientists.


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