Blown Away by Jules Verne's Space Cannon G Forces
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
- Decades After Trinity Nuclear Test in New Mexico, U.S. Studies Cancer Fallout
- Lawrence Of Arabia's Hand-Drawn, WWI Map Is Up for Auction
- Thousands Of FBI Documents About Civil Rights Era Destroyed By Flooding
- Ancient Egyptian Woman with 70 Hair Extensions Discovered
- Europeans drawn from three ancient 'tribes'
- Conservatives press the case against the new AP framework for US history
- Who wrote the new AP US History framework? Now we know.
- Pro-Israel groups going after federal support of Middle East Studies
- 100th Anniversary of Beard's 'An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution' commemorated
- University of Illinois Bigwig to Native American Studies scholar Jean O’Brien: Drop Dead