Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"In 1970 I found little difficulty staying 30 years ahead of the man in the street, and now I find it difficult to stay 18 months ahead of the man on the street."
- Vernor Vinge

Weightlessness (Godwin)  
  This appears to be the first description of the idea of weightlessness in space.  

In 1638, Bishop Francis Godwin published a story in which strange birds called Gansas migrated annually to the moon. In this passage, his protagonist hitches a ride.

It was now the season that these Birds were wont to take their flight away, as our Cuckoes and swallowes doe in Spaine towards the Autumne. They (as after I perceived) mindfull of their usuall voyage, even as I began to settle my selfe for the taking of them in, as it were with one consent, rose up, and having no other place higher to make toward, to my unspeakeable feare and amazement strooke bolt upright, and never did linne towring upward, and still upward, for the space, as I might guesse, of one whole hower, toward the end of which time, mee thought I might perceive them to labour lesse and lesse; till at length, O incredible thing, they forbare moving any thing at al ! and yet remained unmoveable, as stedfastly, as if they had beene upon so many perches; the Lines slacked; neither I, nor the Engine moved at all, but abode still as having no manner of weight.

I found then by this Experience that which no Philosopher ever dreamed of, to wit, that those things which wee call heavie, do not sinke toward the Center of the Earth, as their naturall place, but as drawen by a secret property of the Globe of the Earth, or rather some thing within the same, in like sort as the Loadstone draweth Iron, being within the compass of the beames attractive.

From The Man in the Moone, by Francis Godwin.
Published by Unknown in 1638
Additional resources -

Here is a brief description of part of the trip made with Gansas:

Not many howers after the departure of that divelish company from me, my Gansa's began to bestir themselves, still directing their course toward the Globe or body of the Moone: And they made their way with that incredible swiftnesse, as I thinke they gained not so little as Fifty Leagues in every hower. In that passage I noted three things very remarkeable: one that the further we went, the lesser the Globe of the Earth appeared unto us; whereas still on the contrary side the MOONE shewed her selfe more and more monstrously huge.

During the 19th century, Jules Verne probably influenced more people with his description of weightlessness, in his novel From The Earth To The Moon.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 1 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Man in the Moone
  More Ideas and Technology by Francis Godwin
  Tech news articles related to The Man in the Moone
  Tech news articles related to works by Francis Godwin

Articles related to Space Tech
Childhood Dreams Of Space Realized! Space Junk Problem Solved!
LBNP Device Not Quite 'Artificial Gravity'
China's XPNAV 1 To Use X-Ray Pulsars For Navigation
Will Astronauts Get iPads In Space?

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Honda To Offer Car With Emotions
'All the doors in this spaceship have a cheerful and sunny disposition.'

Just Eat And Starship Bring You Food Via Robot
'...its underside was studded with grilled sensors.'

Life In Detroit's 'Agrihood' - The First In The U.S.
'countless tiny brown circles in the green fields ...occasional ruins of ancient cities...'

Artificial 'Hairs' To Enhance Senses Of Robots
'Migul had extended from each of the fingertips an inch-long filament of wire...'

The Point Of View Of An Autonomous Car
'It is safe to say that the new model almost revolutionized America in more ways than one...'

You Can't Lose The Travelmate Autonomous Suitcase - It Follows You
'...follow him as faithfully as a well-trained hound.'

ibotn Toddler-Care Mini-Robot
'She's not like a machine. She's like a person. A living person.'

Nuclear Batteries Based On Diamonds Last Millennia
'they just package it and ship it around to wherever people want it...'

Eighth Sense Emotion-Responsive Cloak
'This sensitivity to mood explains the real popularity of bio-fabrics...'

British Airways To Offer An Ingestible Sensor To Passengers
The modern way to get feedback from passengers.

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.