…That Jules Verne Predicted the Space Program?

Good day, Sir. Good day, Madam. Today, we turn our attention to the grandfather of the literary sub-genre today classified as “steampunk,” Monsieur Jules Verne, whose science-fiction books have been voraciously devoured by young and old alike for nigh on 150 years. Many people know of the many technological predictions Mssr. Verne made in his delightful novels, many of which came true, in some form or other. He foresaw the submarine in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and skyscrapers in Paris in the 20th Century.

What many people don’t realize is how shockingly accurate his vision of the space program would prove to be. He wrote two companion books, From the Earth to the Moon and Round the Moon, in which he predicted that man would travel to the moon. Published in 1865 and 1870, respectively, Verne did this over 100 years before the United States of America actually would, indeed send a man to the moon.

But that is not all, Sir and Madam! For not only did Mssr. Verne predict that such an event would occur, he even properly guessed the location of the launch. In his novels, just as eventually happened in real life, the craft took off from Florida! And what’s more, he accurately described the floating effects that the travelers would experience in their craft due to lack of gravity the proper velocity needed in order to escape the gravitational pull of Earth. Why, at the end of the mission, he even had his astronauts land their craft in the ocean, which also happened a century later!

That isn’t to say that his vision was flawless. He did imagine the craft be shot into space from a gun, which would have had the undesired effect of either burning up the spacecraft or turning the passengers to jelly due to the acceleration.

Still, it is a lovely dream, which the great French silent film director, George Méliès, captured so luminously in Le Voyage dans la lune (A Trip to the Moon) in 1902:

Source: Strange Facts

Previous Did You Know? Articles


Author: Professor Triviat

Share This Post On

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *