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Home > Early Days > Timeline of Rocket History > Rockets in Science Fiction (Late 19th Century)

Rockets in Science Fiction (Late 19th Century)

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Less interested in the scientific fundamentals of rocketry, many writers of popular literature and science fiction discovered one of the most vital elements in the formula for space travel, a fertile imagination. Under the impression that the sun "draws up" dewdrops, Cyrano de Bergerac suggested fancifully that one might fly by trapping dew in bottles, strapping the bottles to oneself, and standing in sunlight.

JULES VERNE ILLUSTRATION Jules Verne published his first science fiction novel in 1865. It was called from the Earth to the Moon. As shown here in an illustration, passengers in Verne's space ship enjoying their first taste of weightlessness.
JULES VERNE ILLUSTRATION The first known proposal for a manned-satellite appeared in a story by Edward Everett Hale entitled "The Brick Moon." The story involved a group of young Bostonians who planned to put an artificial satellite into polar orbit for sailors to use to determine longitude accurately and easily.
ILLUSTRATION FROM THE BRICK MOON Edward Everett Hale's characters in "The Brick Moon" planned to use brick for the satellite they planned to send up. The brick would protect the satellite from fire. In the story, the 37 inhabitants of the satellite signaled the Earth in Morse code by jumping up and down on the outside of the satellite.

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