Friedrich Zander was born August 23rd 1887 in Riga Livonia. Friedrich studied and became an engineer. In his studies he came across the ideas of Tsiolkovsky. Zander was very interested in Mars and “toward Mars!” became his own personal rallying cry. He had calculated a precise trajectory that a spacecraft would take to Mars and fantasized many aspects of interplanetary travel. His ideas boosted rocketry and ideas of spaceflight in the Soviet Union.
Here are some of his revolutionary ideas:
Greenhouses on spacecraft for food production and limited oxygen production.
Suggested using the earth’s atmosphere for braking a spacecraft
First to envision the use of a solar sail as a means of propulsion
He was a founding member of GIRD. He designed the first liquid fuel rockets in the Soviet Union. He died of Typhus in March of 1933 seven months before the first successful flight of the GIRD-X rocket that he designed.
A GIRD-X model
Model Rocket Plans for the GIRD Razumov-Shtern LRD-D-3 can be found here.
More in the Who the heck series can be found here.