The Road to the Stars
When did man first begin to think of space travel? Man began to think of space travel in the second century A. D. At that time a Greek, Lucian of Samos, wrote a fantastic story about a man who was carried to the Moon by a storm. In his second story about space, Lucian’s hero flew to the Moon with a pair of wings which he had made himself.
But for the next 1400 years, in the years of the inquisition, people could not even think of travelling to the Moon. About 300 years ago the famous Italian astronomer Galilei looked through his telescope and told people about the other worlds which he had seen. Again people began to think of reaching other planets. In 1634, there appeared a story about a journey to the Moon by Johannes Kepler, the German astronomer. He discovered how the planets moved around the Sun. Kepler was a scientist but in his book his hero was carried to the Moon by «magic moon people», who could fly through space. Kepler gave a detailed description of the Moon which he had seen through his telescope. After Kepler’s book, there were many others about space travel. The first serious story of space travel was written in 1640 by Bishop Wilkins of England. He described physical conditions on the Moon and he also said about the ways in which man could possibly live on the Moon. The first man who wrote about a rocket as a spaceship was the Frenchman, Cyrano de Bergerac. In his book his space travellers flew to the Moon-and the Sun in the rocket.
When those books were written, nobody seriously thought about space travel. Then in 1865 Jules Verne, the French novelist, wrote the story «From the Earth to the Moon», in which he tried to show the scientific principles of space travel. By the time that H. G. Wells, the English author, wrote «The First Men on the Moon» in 1901, man was already at the beginning of a new era in the development of air travel and conquering outer space.
1. When did man first begin to think of space travel?
2. What did the famous Italian astronomer Galilei tell people about?
3. What did the German astronomer discover?
4. When was the first serious story of space travel written?
5. What other books about space were written?