"The moon, gentlemen, has been carefully studied...her mass, density, and weight; her constitution, motions, distance, her place in the solar system...Cartographers have made selenographic charts with a precision equaling, if not surpassing, that of our terrestrial maps. Photographers have given us incomparably beautiful pictures of our satellite. In a word, then, we know all that the mathematical sciences, astronomy, geology, and optics can tell us about her. But no one has ever established direct communication with her."
"Now you know what great progress we have made in ballistics during the last few years, and what degree of perfection firearms of every kind have reached. You know too that, generally speaking, the strength of cannon and the expansive force of gunpowder are unlimited. So, starting from this principle, I wonder whether, with a cannon large enough and strong enough to contain the explosion required, we could not send a projectile to the moon!"
"I have looked at the question in all its bearings, I have resolutely attacked it, and by incontrovertible calculations I find that any projectile aimed at the moon with an initial velocity of 12,000 yards per second will arrive there out of scientific necessity. I have the honor, my brave colleagues, to propose a trial of this little experiment."
- Excerpts from Barbicane's Speech (1865)
Jules Verne's "From the Earth to the Moon"
released December 12, 2013
Cover Image Credit: NASA/JSC/ASU
Mauritania, Richat Structure, El Djouf Desert
Audio extracted from the NASA Project Apollo Tapes, obtained from archive.org/details/Apollo8Highlights