Blown Away by Jules Verne's Space Cannon G ForcesBreaking News
The latter is one of the earliest depictions of space travel in popular fiction, featuring a capsule shot out of a cannon. It seems absurd by modern standards, but there's a hint of solid science underneath the fiction.
Set a few years after the resolution of the American Civil War, the novel centers on the disaffected members of the Baltimore Gun Club. The men are bored and restless; there are no new artillery weapons to construct and test, nothing left to blow to smithereens.
So their leader, Impey Barbicane (!), proposes they build a gigantic cannon to fire a projectile to the moon. Ultimately the plucky Gun Club succeeds in launching not just a projectile, but three men into space.
Verne's notion of launching men to the moon with a cannon seems implausible at best, but some of the underlying principles are quite sound, given how little was known at the time.
Newton's third law of motion says that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Firing a projectile from a cannon produces a powerful recoil force in the opposite direction, capable of propelling an object a considerable distance....
comments powered by Disqus
- Previously untouched 600BC palace discovered under shrine demolished by Isil in Mosul
- Slate reveals that despite our apology, nothing’s been done to help Guatemalans infected in an experiment worse than Tuskegee
- Russian government website notes that game maker has sent “Secret Hitler” to every US senator
- Scholars debate the future of NATO
- Trump, Putin, and the New Cold War
- James Oliver Horton remembered as a pioneer for African American research
- Theodore Lowi, Zealous Scholar of Presidents and Liberalism, Dies at 85
- What LT. Gen. H.R. McMaster will offer as new national security adviser
- Fareed Zakaria hails historian Nigel Hamilton’s series as the memoir FDR never had the opportunity to write
- French Historian Says He Was Threatened With Deportation at Houston Airport