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Location of Slovenia

The Republic of Slovenia (Slovenian: Republika Slovenija) is a coastal Alpine country in southern Central Europe bordering Italy to the west, the Adriatic Sea to the southwest, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north.

Slovenia was part of Austria-Hungary until 1918, State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs and Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (renamed Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929) between the World Wars, SFR of Yugoslavia from 1945 until gaining independence in 1991. It became a member of the European Union on 1 May 2004. It is also a member of the Council of Europe, NATO, and has observer status in La Francophonie.

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Ribnica lake
North side of mt. Jalovec in Julian Alps Photo credit: Christian Mehlführer
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Herman Potočnik

Herman Potočnik (pseudonym Hermann Noordung) (December 22, 1892 - August 27, 1929) was a Slovene rocket engineer and pioneer of cosmonautics (astronautics). He is chiefly remembered for his work addressing the long-term habitation of space.

With his many ideas he became one of the founders of astronautics. His concepts were first taken seriously only by the amateur rocketry movement in Germany, the Verein für Raumschiffahrt (VfR - "Spaceflight Society"), centered on Hermann Oberth and his co-workers. In its Russian edition, the book may also have influenced Sergey Korolev's circle. More locally, Viennese engineers dismissed his work as fantasy.

Potočnik's described geostationary satellites (first put forward by Konstantin Tsiolkovsky) and discussed communication between them and the ground using radio, but fell short of the idea of using satellites for mass broadcasting and as telecommunications relays (developed by Arthur C. Clarke in his Wireless World article of 1945). The wheel-shaped space station served as an inspiration for further development by Wernher von Braun (another former VfR member) in 1953.

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