Early Ideas On Space Travel

Although space travel had been a popular topic for fantasy since Roman times, it was not until the 19th century that writers began to seriously consider its problems. French author Jules Verne launched his heroes to the Moon with a giant cannon (in fact, the acceleration would have killed them), while British writer H. G. Wells invented a material that shielded his lunar capsule from the effects of Earth's gravity. In reality, the only practical solution was the rocket. Long used as a military weapon, a rocket's self-propelled nature means that it can push itself forward without a medium to travel through, making it ideal for the vacuum of space.

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