The equation is named after Konstantin Tsiolkovsky who independently derived it and published it in his 1903 work.

It considers the principle of a rocket: a device that can apply an acceleration to itself (a thrust) by expelling part of its mass with high speed in the opposite direction, due to the conservation of momentum.

For any such maneuver (or journey involving a number of such maneuvers

[b]History[/b]

This equation was independently derived by Konstantin Tsiolkovsky towards the end of the 19th century and is widely known under this name and ideal rocket equation. However a recently discovered pamphlet "A Treatise on the Motion of Rockets" by William Moore,,shows that the earliest known derivation of this kind of equation was in fact at the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich in England in 1813, and was used for weapons research.