A forgotten space pioneer, 1905–1980, Ary Sternfeld (Szternfeld, Shternfeld) 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.
The Space Research Center of the Polish Academy of Science (CBK PAN) organized a conference (in 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, 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 in Quest (M. Gruntman, He introduced the word Cosmonautics. The story of Ary Sternfeld, a forgotten space pioneer, Quest, v. 14, N. 1, pp. 44-54, 2007) and a talk (M. Gruntman, Word Cosmonautics: a History, IAC-06-E4.1.7) at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Valencia, Spain, 2006.
The lecture consists of two parts, Part 1 (14 min) and Part 2 (11 min) – YouTube limits the duration of videos to 15 minutes. Direct links are
Mike Gruntman is professor of astronautics at the University of Southern California. He is an accomplished space scientist and educator, with more nearly 300 scholarly publications, including 4 books, in various areas of science and engineering.
His 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. Another Mike's book, From Astronautics to Cosmonautics, 2007, was nominated (2008) for the Emme Award of the American Astronautical Society.
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