Tsiolkovsky with his ear trumpet

Tsiolkovsky with his ear trumpet

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Credit: RIA NOVOSTI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky (1857-1935), Soviet rocket pioneer, using an ear trumpet of his own design. Although he never built a rocket, Tsiolkovsky's work was highly influential in the development of Soviet rocket and space technology. He became deaf after contracting scarlet fever at around the age of 10 and from then on he schooled himself, mainly from books in his father's library. He determined that the Earth's escape velocity was 8 kilometres per second and showed that this could be achieved using liquid-fuel rockets. Photographed in 1934, in Kaluga, Russia.

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