From the Earth to the Moon

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Engraving from the 1872 Illustrated Edition.
This page is about the Jules Verne novel From the Earth to the Moon. For the 1998 HBO miniseries that dramatizes the early U.S. Space Program, please see From the Earth to the Moon (HBO).

From the Earth to the Moon (French title: De la Terre à la Lune) is a humorous science fiction story written in 1865 by Jules Verne and is one of the earliest entries in that genre. It tells the story of three well-to-do members of a post-American Civil War gun club who build an enormous sky facing cannon and ride a space ship fired from it to the moon.

The story is also notable in that Verne attempted to do some rough calculations as to the requirements for the cannon and, considering the total lack of any data on the subject at the time, some of his figures are surprisingly close to reality.

Most interestingly, his estimate of the cost of the project in 1865 dollars is near the cost of the Apollo 11 flight in 1969 dollars. The story bears further similarities to the real-life Apollo program:

  • Verne's cannon was named the Columbiad while the Apollo 11 command module was named Columbia.
  • The spacecraft crew consisted of three people in each case.
  • Verne's voyage blasted off from Florida, as did all Apollo missions.
  • Verne's astronauts splashed down in the ocean, at a spot close the where Apollo 11 also did.

The character of "Michel Ardan" in the novel was inspired by the Nadar.

The novel inspired the first science fiction film, Le Voyage dans la Lune (English title: A Trip to the Moon). In 1958, another film adaptation of this story was released, titled 'From the Earth to the Moon'. It was one of the last films made under the RKO Pictures banner.

The ride Space Mountain: De la Terre à la Lune in Disneyland Paris, is based loosely on his novel, with the ambiance being that of the book being noted throughout out the ride with its rivet and boiler plate effect. The ride includes the Canon "Columbiad", which recoils with a bang of smoke as each car passes, giving riders the perception of being shot of into space. The ride is also located right next to the ride "Les Mystères du Nautilus" based on Walt Disney's adaptation of Jules Vernes' other famous literary work, "20,000 Leagues under the Sea."

In 1995 the BBC made a documentary about the creation of Space Mountain, called "Shoot For The Moon". It was a fascinating 44 minute programme, following Tim Delaney and his team in bringing the book From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne to life.

The report shows the whole development of the attraction, from conception, over construction up to testing and fine tuning the final attraction. Of course also problems during this process arise ...

The documentary was originally broadcast on BBC2, but was also aired on other channels in many different countries.

See Also

External links

fr:De la Terre à la Lune nl:De reis naar de maan pt:Da terra à lua


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