Konstantin Tsiolkovsky is known as the father of Russian space science. Tsiolkovsky was born in 1857 in Kaluga. He was the son of a forester and suffered an early childhood illness that made him deaf. His deafness prevented him from attending normal schools. He taught himself astronomy, physics, and mathematics. When he was older, he was sent to Moscow for special technical studies. In 1878, he began to teach mathematics.
Tsiolkovsky was always interested in space. He theorized about interplanetary travel, multistage rocketry, liquid fuel propellants, microgravity, solar power, space satellites, and space platforms. He built Russias first wind tunnel. Many of his thoughts were published in a Russian journal article entitled, "Investigating Space with Rocket Devices". These theories were ignored until the 1920s when other scientists proposed similar ideas. Once his ideas were recognized, he was honored with a lifetime pension from the state. He devoted his time to further studies of space exploration.
What is amazing about Tsiolkovskys work is that he never put his ideas about rocketry into practice himself. His work was in theory only. On September 19, 1935, he died in Kaluga. His work was important to the development of the space program in the USSR.