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Ary Sternfeld, 1905-1980

A forgotten space pioneer, Ary Sternfeld (Szternfeld, Shternfeld), 1905–1980, introduced the word cosmonautics in the language of science.

Sternfeld's unusual life journey took him from Poland to France and finally to the Soviet Union.

He saw the recognition, he faced danger, and he suffered indignity.

The life of Ary Sternfeld reflected the turbulent history of the 20th century.

Ary Sternfeld – Conference, 2010

The Space Research Center of the Polish Academy of Science (CBK PAN) organized a conference (in the town of Sieradz, Poland; 23 September 2010) to commemorate the heritage of Ary Sternfeld. Almost one hundred people attended the event, including Town President and local officials, a member of the National Parliament, scientists, school teachers, and students.

The organizers invited me to give a talk on the unusual life story of Sternfeld. Since I could not attend the conference in person, I narrated a powerpoint presentation and converted it into a video that was played at the meeting. The lecture is based on the book From Astronautics and Cosmonautics published in 2007. The book, in turn, built upon an earlier article (pdf) in Quest (v. 14, N. 1, pp. 44-54, 2007) and a talk (IAC-06-E4.1.7) at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Valencia, Spain, in 2006.

The lecture duration is 25 minutes -- direct URL link is

Sternfeld 2010

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About Mike Gruntman

Mike Gruntman is professor of astronautics at the University of Southern California. He is an accomplished space scientist, engineer, educator, and historian with more more than 300 scholarly publications, including 4 books, in various areas of science and technology.

Mike's book Blazing the Trail. The Early History of Spacecraft and Rocketry (published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics in 2004) received the 2006 Luigi Napolitano Award from the International Academy of Astronautics. More than 750 major libraries worldwide hold this book in their collections. Another his book, From Astronautics to Cosmonautics, 2007, was nominated (2008) for the Emme Award of the American Astronautical Society.

books by mike gruntman   Mike's books

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