From the Earth to the Moon

From the Earth to the Moon (French: De la terre à la lune) is an 1865 novel by Jules Verne. It tells the story of the Baltimore Gun Club, a post-American Civil War society of weapons enthusiasts, and their attempts to build an enormous Columbiad space gun and launch three people—the Gun Club's president, his Philadelphian armor-making rival, and a French poet—in a projectile with the goal of a Moon landing.

The story is also notable in that Verne attempted to do some rough calculations as to the requirements for the cannon and in that, considering the comparative lack of empirical data on the subject at the time, some of his figures are remarkably accurate. However, his scenario turned out to be impractical for safe manned space travel since a much longer barrel would have been required to reach escape velocity while limiting acceleration to survivable limits for the passengers.

The character of Michel Ardan, the French member of the party in the novel, was inspired by the real-life photographer Félix Nadar.

From the Earth to the Moon
From the Earth to the Moon Jules Verne
Cover of an early English translation
AuthorJules Verne
Original titleDe la terre à la lune
TranslatorAnonymous (1867)
J. K. Hoyt (1869)
Louis Mercier & Eleanor Elizabeth King (1873)
Edward Roth (1874)
Thomas H. Linklater (1877)
I. O. Evans (1959)
Lowell Bair (1967)
Jacqueline and Robert Baldick (1970)
Harold Salemson (1970)
Walter James Miller (1996)
Frederick Paul Walter (2010)
IllustratorHenri de Montaut
SeriesVoyages Extraordinaires #4
GenreScience fiction
PublisherPierre-Jules Hetzel
Publication date
Published in English
Media typePrint (Hardback)
Preceded byJourney to the Center of the Earth 


'From the Earth to the Moon' by Henri de Montaut 39
The projectile, as pictured in an engraving from the 1872 Illustrated Edition.
The firing of the Columbiad.

The story opens some time after the end of the American Civil War. The Baltimore Gun Club, a society dedicated to the design of weapons of all kinds (especially cannons), comes together when Impey Barbicane, its president, calls them to support his latest idea. He's done some calculations, and believes that they could construct a cannon capable of shooting a projectile to the Moon. After receiving the support of his companions, another meeting is held to decide the place from which the projectile will be fired, the dimensions and materials of both the cannon and the projectile, and which kind of powder they are to use.

An old enemy of Barbicane, a Captain Nicholl of Philadelphia, designer of plate armor, declares that the entire enterprise is absurd and makes a series of bets with Barbicane, each of them of increasing amount, over the impossibility of such feat.

The first obstacle, the money to construct the giant cannon (and against which Nicholl has bet 1,000 dollars), is raised from a number of countries in America and Europe. Notably, the U.S. gives four million dollars, while England does not give a farthing, but in the end, nearly five and a half million dollars are raised, which ensures the financial feasibility of the project.

Stone's Hill in "Tampa Town", Florida is chosen as the site for the cannon's construction. The Gun Club travels there and starts the construction of the Columbiad cannon, which requires the excavation of a 900-foot-deep (270 m) and 60-foot-wide (18 m) circular hole, which is made in the nick of time, but a surprise awaits Barbicane: Michel Ardan, a French adventurer, plans to travel aboard the projectile.

During a meeting between Ardan, the Gun Club, and the inhabitants of Florida, Nicholl appears and challenges Barbicane to a duel. The duel is stopped when Ardan—having been warned by J. T. Maston, secretary of the Gun Club—meets the rivals in the forest where they have agreed to duel. Meanwhile, Barbicane finds the solution to the problem of surviving the incredible acceleration that the explosion would cause. Ardan suggests that Barbicane and Nicholl travel with him in the projectile, and the proposition is accepted.

In the end, the projectile is successfully launched, but the destinies of the three astronauts are left inconclusive. The sequel, Around the Moon, deals with what happens to the three men in their travel from the Earth to the Moon.

Influence on popular culture

The novel was adapted as the opera Le voyage dans la lune in 1875, with music by Jacques Offenbach.

In 1880 The Pall Mall Gazette described Verne’s Columbiad as a ‘space-ship’ - the first recorded use of this term in history.[1]

In H. G. Wells' 1901 novel The First Men in the Moon (also relating to the first voyagers to the Moon) the protagonist, Mr. Bedford, mentions Verne's novel to his companion, Professor Cavor, who replies (in a possible dig at Verne) that he does not know what Bedford is referring to. Verne returned the dig later when he pointed out that he used gun cotton to send his men to the Moon, an actual substance. "Can Mr. Wells show me some 'cavourite'?", he asked archly.

The novel (along with Wells' The First Men in the Moon) inspired the first science fiction film, A Trip to the Moon, made in 1902 by Georges Méliès. 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 story also became the basis for the very loose adaptation Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon (1967), a caper-style British comedy starring Burl Ives and Terry-Thomas. The 1961 Czechoslovak film The Fabulous Baron Munchausen combines characters and plot elements from the Verne novel with those of the stories of Baron Munchausen and Cyrano de Bergerac.

In 1889 Verne wrote a second sequel to the novel, The Purchase of the North Pole, which has the Gun Club members (led by J. T. Maston) plan to use the "Columbiad" to alter the tilt of the Earth to enable the mineral wealth of the Arctic region to be put within reach of exploitation.

In March 1953, the Gilberton Company published a comic-book adaptation of From the Earth to the Moon as issue No. 105 in its Classics Illustrated series. An unidentified scriptwriter combined Verne's From the Earth to the Moon with the sequel, Around the Moon. Gilberton art director Alex A. Blum supplied both the cover painting and the 44 pages of interior art. The title went through twelve printings between 1953 and 1971.[2]

During their return journey from the Moon, the crew of Apollo 11 made reference to Jules Verne's book during a TV broadcast on July 23.[3] The mission's commander, astronaut Neil Armstrong, said, "A hundred years ago, Jules Verne wrote a book about a voyage to the Moon. His spaceship, Columbia [sic], took off from Florida and landed in the Pacific Ocean after completing a trip to the Moon. It seems appropriate to us to share with you some of the reflections of the crew as the modern-day Columbia completes its rendezvous with the planet Earth and the same Pacific Ocean tomorrow."

In Back to the Future Part III, Clara Clayton in 1885 asks Emmett Brown if he believes mankind will ever "travel to the Moon the way we travel across the country on trains." Being from the future, Brown already knows that doesn't happen for another 84 years, but he affirms they will while quoting a passage of From the Earth to the Moon. Clara calls him out on this, and it's from this encounter that the pair discovers their mutual love of Jules Verne novels.

The novel and its sequel were the inspiration for the 2005 point-and-click adventure computer game Voyage: Inspired by Jules Verne.

In the 2010 The Quantum Thief trilogy, the protagonist enters an uneasy alliance with the "Gun Club zoku", who specialize in military weaponry, and in The Causal Angel (2014) after escaping Earth using a nuclear powered space gun, sells the "Verne gun bullet" to them as a unique collectible item; author Hannu Rajaniemi is a fan of Verne.[4][5]

Disneyland Paris

The first incarnation of the roller coaster Space Mountain in Disneyland Paris, named Space Mountain: De la Terre à la Lune, was based loosely on this novel. The attraction opened in 1995. The attraction's exterior was designed using a Verne era retro-futuristic influence. Elements of the ambiance include rivet and boiler plate effect and the "Columbiad," which recoils with a bang and produces smoke as each car passes, giving riders the perception of being shot into space. During 2005, the ride was refurbished and renamed Space Mountain: Mission 2 as part of the Happiest Celebration on Earth. The ride no longer features elements of the original storyline from the novel.

In 1995 the BBC made a documentary about the creation of Space Mountain, called Shoot For The Moon. The 44-minute program followed Tim Delaney and his team in bringing the book From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne to life. The program shows the development of the attraction, from conception to construction to testing the final attraction. The documentary, originally broadcast on BBC Two in the United Kingdom, was also aired on other channels in many countries.

Project Epicus version

In 2013, a new film version of the story was announced, under the banner of Project Epicus[6]—a film project—with the full blessing of Jules Verne's great-grandson Jean Verne that began production in 2017.[7][8]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Jones, William B Jr (2011), Classics Illustrated: A Cultural History (2 ed.), McFarland, p. 329.
  3. ^ "History", JSC (PDF), US: Nasa.
  4. ^ "Interview: Hannu Rajaniemi: SciFiNow sits down with a rising star of science fiction."
  5. ^ "Once a physicist: Hannu Rajaniemi; Hannu Rajaniemi is an Edinburgh-based science-fiction writer whose first novel, The Quantum Thief, is published by Gollancz in paperback this month"
  6. ^ Unknown. "Project Epicus website". Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  7. ^ Project Epicus. "Youtube: Jean Verne Interview, Project Epicus". Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  8. ^ Movie Prop Sites, LLC. "RPF From the Earth to the Moon". Retrieved 23 September 2013.

External links

14th TCA Awards

The 14th TCA Awards were presented by the Television Critics Association in a ceremony hosted by Ray Romano held on July 18, 1998, at the Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel and Spa in Pasadena, Calif.

A Trip to the Moon

A Trip to the Moon (French: Le Voyage dans la Lune) is a 1902 French adventure film directed by Georges Méliès. Inspired by a wide variety of sources, including Jules Verne's novels From the Earth to the Moon and Around the Moon, the film follows a group of astronomers who travel to the Moon in a cannon-propelled capsule, explore the Moon's surface, escape from an underground group of Selenites (lunar inhabitants), and return to Earth with a captive Selenite. It features an ensemble cast of French theatrical performers, led by Méliès himself in the main role of Professor Barbenfouillis, and is filmed in the overtly theatrical style for which Méliès became famous.

The film was an internationally popular success on its release, and was extensively pirated by other studios, especially in the United States. Its unusual length, lavish production values, innovative special effects, and emphasis on storytelling were markedly influential on other film-makers and ultimately on the development of narrative film as a whole.

Scholars have commented upon the film's extensive use of pataphysical and anti-imperialist satire, as well as on its wide influence on later film-makers and its artistic significance within the French theatrical féerie tradition. Though the film disappeared into obscurity after Méliès's retirement from the film industry, it was rediscovered around 1930, when Méliès's importance to the history of cinema was beginning to be recognized by film devotees. An original hand-colored print was discovered in 1993 and restored in 2011.

A Trip to the Moon was named one of the 100 greatest films of the 20th century by The Village Voice, ranked 84th. The film remains the best-known of the hundreds of films made by Méliès, and the moment in which the capsule lands in the Moon's eye remains one of the most iconic and frequently referenced images in the history of cinema. It is widely regarded as the earliest example of the science fiction film genre and, more generally, as one of the most influential films in cinema history.

Around the Moon

Around the Moon (French: Autour de la Lune, 1870), Jules Verne's sequel to From the Earth to the Moon, is a science fiction novel which continues the trip to the moon which was only partially described in the previous novel. It was later combined with From the Earth to the Moon to create A Trip to the Moon and Around It. From the Earth to the Moon and Around the Moon served as the basis for the film A Trip to the Moon.

Coherence time

For an electromagnetic wave, the coherence time is the time over which a propagating wave (especially a laser or maser beam) may be considered coherent, meaning that its phase is, on average, predictable.

In long-distance transmission systems, the coherence time may be reduced by propagation factors such as dispersion, scattering, and diffraction.

The coherence time, usually designated τ, is calculated by dividing the coherence length by the phase velocity of light in a medium; approximately given by

where λ is the central wavelength of the source, Δν and Δλ is the spectral width of the source in units of frequency and wavelength respectively, and c is the speed of light in vacuum.

A single mode fiber laser has a linewidth of a few kHz, corresponding to a coherence time of a few hundred microseconds. Hydrogen masers have linewidth around 1 Hz, corresponding to a coherence time of about one second. Their coherence length approximately corresponds to the distance from the Earth to the Moon.

Fredric Lehne

Fredric George Lehne (born February 3, 1959) is an American actor of film, stage, and television.

Acting since 1978, he has appeared in more than 200 films, mini-series, and television episodes, as well as stage productions across the United States, from Broadway to Portland, Oregon. He is best known for his role as the demon Azazel on the long-running television show Supernatural, he also appeared as Marshal Mars on Lost, as Eddie in the original television series Dallas, and as Frank McCann on American Horror Story.

Lehne appeared in such miniseries/television movies as the original Billionaire's Boy's Club, From the Earth to the Moon and Coward Of The County. His film credits include Men in Black, Con Air, Ordinary People, Being There, Zero Dark Thirty, and The Dark Knight Rises.

From the Earth to the Moon (disambiguation)

From the Earth to the Moon is a science fiction novel by Jules Verne.

From the Earth to the Moon may also refer to:

From the Earth to the Moon (film), a 1958 adaptation of the novel

From the Earth to the Moon (miniseries), a 1998 television miniseries about the U.S. Apollo Moon missions

From the Earth to the Moon (film)

From the Earth to the Moon is a 1958 American Technicolor science fiction film, produced by Benedict Bogeaus, directed by Byron Haskin, that stars Joseph Cotten, George Sanders, and Debra Paget. Production of the film originated at RKO Pictures, but when RKO went into bankruptcy, the film was acquired and released by Warner Brothers.

From the Earth to the Moon is the only film adaptation of the Jules Verne science fiction novel of the same name.

From the Earth to the Moon (miniseries)

From the Earth to the Moon is a 12-part 1998 HBO television miniseries co-produced by Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Tom Hanks, and Michael Bostick, telling the story of the landmark Apollo program during the 1960s and early 1970s in docudrama format. Largely based on Andrew Chaikin's book, A Man on the Moon, the series is known for its accurate telling of the story of Apollo and the outstanding special effects under visual director Ernest D. Farino.

The series takes its title from, but is not based upon, the famous Jules Verne science fiction novel From the Earth to the Moon. Hanks appears in every episode, introducing each of the first eleven. The last episode is represented in a pseudo-documentary format narrated by Blythe Danner, interspersed with a reenactment of the making of Georges Méliès' film Le Voyage dans la Lune. Hanks narrates and appears in these scenes as Méliès' assistant.

Gareth Williams (actor)

Gareth Williams is an American actor. He is probably best known from his role as Mike Potter, a recurring character on the television drama Dawson's Creek.

He attended Palm Beach State College.He played astronaut James Irwin in the HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon, and was in such films as Malcolm X, Volcano, and The Cell. He has a long list of television credits including Time of Your Life, Angel, Law & Order, and Mad About You.

Gareth Williams has an extensive list of film credits, including Hollywoodland with Adrien Brody, The Cell with Jennifer Lopez, and "Keith" with Jesse McCartney, "Palookaville," Malcolm X with Denzel Washington and was the lead in the Danish produced road movie P.O.V. He also has a long list of TV credits, including the Tom Hanks produced miniseries "From The Earth To The Moon" where he played James B. Irwin. He also had recurring roles in Dawsons Creek, The Shield, and Time of your Life. His career began in New York where he studied with Uta Hagen for six years and did countless productions in and around NYC as well as regional theatre.

Journey Through the Impossible

Journey Through the Impossible (French: Voyage à travers l'impossible) is an 1882 fantasy play written by Jules Verne, with the collaboration of Adolphe d'Ennery. A stage spectacular in the féerie tradition, the play follows the adventures of a young man who, with the help of a magic potion and a varied assortment of friends and advisers, makes impossible voyages to the center of the Earth, the bottom of the sea, and a distant planet. The play is deeply influenced by Verne's own Voyages Extraordinaires series and includes characters and themes from some of his most famous novels, including Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and From the Earth to the Moon.

The play opened in Paris at the Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin on 25 November 1882, and achieved a financially successful run of 97 performances. Contemporary critics gave the play mixed reviews; in general, the spectacular staging and the use of ideas from Verne's books were highly praised, while the symbolism and moral themes in the script were criticized and attributed to the collaboration of d'Ennery. The play was not published during Verne's lifetime and was presumed lost until 1978, when a single handwritten copy of the script was discovered; the text has since been published in both French and English. Recent scholars have discussed the play's exploration of the fantasy genre and of initiation myths, its use of characters and concepts from Verne's novels, and of the ambiguous treatment of scientific ambition in the play, marking a transition from optimism to pessimism in Verne's treatment of scientific themes.

Le voyage dans la lune (operetta)

Le voyage dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon) is an opéra-féerie in four acts and 23 scenes by Jacques Offenbach. Loosely based on the novel From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne, its French libretto was by Albert Vanloo, Eugène Leterrier and Arnold Mortier.

It premiered on 26 October 1875 at the Théâtre de la Gaîté. The production was revived at the Théâtre du Châtelet, on 31 March 1877.

Sally Field

Sally Margaret Field (born November 6, 1946) is an American actress and director. She is the recipient of various accolades, including two Academy Awards, three Primetime Emmy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award and has been nominated for a Tony Award and two BAFTA Awards.

Field began her professional career on television, starring in eponymous roles on the short-lived sitcoms Gidget (1965–1966), The Flying Nun (1967–1970), and The Girl with Something Extra (1973–1974). In 1976, her career saw a turning point when she garnered critical acclaim of her portrayal of a woman suffering from multiple personality disorder in the television miniseries Sybil, for which she received the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie. Although her film debut was as an extra in Moon Pilot (1962), her film career escalated during the 1970s with starring roles in successful films including Stay Hungry (1976), Smokey and the Bandit (1977), Heroes (1977), The End (1978), and Hooper (1978). Her career further expanded during the 1980s, twice receiving the Academy Award for Best Actress for Norma Rae (1979) and Places in the Heart (1984), and continued to appear in a wide range of acclaimed and successful films including Smokey and the Bandit II (1980), Absence of Malice (1981), Kiss Me Goodbye (1982), Murphy's Romance (1985), Steel Magnolias (1989), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), and Forrest Gump (1994).

In the 2000s, she returned to television with a recurring role on the NBC medical drama ER, for which she won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series in 2001 and the following year made her stage debut with Edward Albee's The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?. From 2006 to 2011, she portrayed the protagonist Nora Walker on the ABC television drama Brothers & Sisters, for which she received the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 2007. In 2010s, her film career saw a resurgence. She starred as Mary Todd Lincoln in Lincoln (2012), for which she received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and portrayed Aunt May in The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) and its 2014 sequel, with the former becoming her highest grossing release. In 2015, she portrayed the titular character in Hello, My Name Is Doris, for which she was nominated for the Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Actress in a Comedy. In 2017, she returned to stage after an absence of 15 years with the revival of Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie for which she received a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play.

As a director, Field is known for the television film The Christmas Tree (1996), an episode of the 1998 HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon, as well as the feature film Beautiful (2000). In 2014, she was presented with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Space gun

A space gun, sometimes called a Verne gun because of its appearance in From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne, is a method of launching an object into space using a large gun- or cannonlike structure. Space guns could thus potentially provide a method of non-rocket spacelaunch. It has been conjectured that space guns could place satellites into Earth's orbit (although after-launch propulsion of the satellite would be necessary to achieve a stable orbit), and could also launch spacecraft beyond Earth's gravitational pull and into other parts of the Solar System by exceeding Earth's escape velocity of about 11.2 km/s or 40,320 km/h (25,050 mph). However, these speeds are too far into the hypersonic range for most practical propulsion systems and also would cause most objects to burn up due to aerodynamic heating or be torn apart by aerodynamic drag.

Therefore, a more likely future use of space guns would be to launch objects into near Earth orbit, from where attached rockets could be fired or the objects could be "collected" by maneuverable orbiting satellites.In Project HARP, a 1960s joint United States and Canada defence project, a U.S. Navy 16 in (410 mm) 100 caliber gun was used to fire a 180 kg (400 lb) projectile at 3600 m/s or 12,960 km/h (8,050 mph), reaching an apogee of 180 km (110 mi), hence performing a suborbital spaceflight. However, a space gun has never been successfully used to launch an object into orbit or out of Earth's gravitational pull.

Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain

Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain (formerly known as Space Mountain: Mission 2 and Space Mountain: De la Terre à la Lune) is an indoor/outdoor steel roller coaster in Discoveryland at Disneyland Paris. Originally themed around Jules Verne's classic 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon, the attraction first opened on June 1, 1995, three years after the park's debut in an attempt to draw more guests to the financially-unstable European resort. Unlike other Space Mountain attractions at Disney theme parks, the installation at Disneyland Paris had a steampunk-detailed appearance with a Columbiad Cannon and a plate-and-rivet exterior under its previous theme. It was the only Space Mountain to feature inversions, a launch, a section of track that exits and re-enters the interior, and a synchronized on-Board audio track.

The original Space Mountain: De la Terre à la Lune closed in January 2005 and later reopened as Space Mountain: Mission 2 with a revamped non-Jules Verne theme and the same track layout. A refurbishment took place in 2015 to improve the special effects and overall presentation. The newest renovation to the ride implements a Star Wars theme to celebrate the resort's 25th Anniversary.

The Purchase of the North Pole

The Purchase of the North Pole or Topsy-Turvy (French: Sans dessus dessous) is an adventure novel by Jules Verne, published in 1889. It is the third and last novel of the Baltimore Gun Club, first appearing in From the Earth to the Moon, and later in Around the Moon, featuring the same characters but set twenty years later.

Like some other books of his later years, in this novel Verne tempers his love of science and engineering with a good dose of irony about their potential for harmful abuse and the fallibility of human endeavors.

Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon and Around the Moon
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by Verne
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