From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne:
Science Fiction Inventions, Technology and Ideas

Another great Verne tale; this one has some very original ideas mixed in with the fabulous details of 19th century science. If you liked the technical details in Tom Clancy's books, you'll certainly enjoy the technical discussions in this book. And, like de Tocqueville's Democracy in America, this book is a fascinating glimpse of Americans by a European. Select an invention:

Air Renewal
Re-oxygenating the air within the projectile spacecraft.

Columbiad - 900 foot cannon
An enormous cannon, sufficient in size to send a projectile to the Moon.

Communicate with Extraterrestrials - first use of concept
Early plan to communicate with life on planets removed from the earth.

Free Return Trajectory - first mention
The idea that it would be possible for a projectile to go around the Moon and then return to Earth.

Gourmet Space Cuisine
The finest in French cuisine, in outer space.

Launching Facility - in Florida
A specific spot with support for a space launch.

Light Pressure Propulsion - first use of this idea
First mention of the idea that light itself could be a form of propulsion for spacecraft.

Projectile-Vehicle - Verne's spacecraft
A projectile, or shot, capable of enclosing passengers and being safely hurled to the moon by an enormous cannon.

Retro-Rockets - Verne invented them!
Small boosters to provide a thrust counter to the current velocity of the spacecraft, slowing it down or stopping its progress altogether.

Splashdown - the original idea
The use of water as a medium for landing one's space ship in.

Water-Springs
Using water to cushion the living space of a spacecraft from the effects of acceleration.

Weightlessness - true science fiction discovery
The state experienced in free fall; a space traveler's weight is apparently reduced to zero.

 

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