[ExI] Tsiolkovsky

David Lubkin lubkin at unreasonable.com
Mon May 13 16:28:27 UTC 2013

Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:

>I would suspect by way of Korolev, but I have no proof.
>I've spent a few minutes digging, but it would be hard to
>trace, given it's way pre-web. You have to drill down
>into academic papers using the full quote.

I've asked the archivist of the BIS to check. Thinking about who had 
access to what and when, my guess is that Tsiolkovsky's work and the 
quote came to English speakers via German authors like Oberth or Ley, 
rather than directly from the Russian. The Journal of the British 
Interplanetary Society started in 1934, and was read in America by 
enthusiasts and sf writers. Heinlein quoted that line often enough 
himself for it to be misattributed to him.

I assume Sir Arthur is a reliable source that Tsiolkovsky became 
widely known in the West in the Thirties. But I doubt that he, 
personally, is responsible for it. In the Thirties, he was 13 to 23, 
had only written for fanzines, and was working as a pensions auditor.

-- David.

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