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All Around the Moon

Jules Verne

This is the translation of Edward Roth first published in 1876 by King and Baird, Philadelphia. This translation has been vilified by Verne scholars for the large amount of additional non-Verne material included. However the book does contain the first printed corrected equation of motion for moon travel and also the first correct printed derivation of the formula for the escape velocity for a space capsule to leave the earth for the moon.

Plot Summary

After being fired out of the giant Columbiad, the bullet-shaped projectile along with its three passengers, Barbicane, Nicholl and Michel Ardan, begins the five-day trip to the moon. A few minutes into the journey, a small, bright meteor passes within a few hundred yards of them, but luckily does not collide with the projectile. The meteor had been captured by the Earth's gravity and had become a second moon. It is then discovered by the three astronauts that the gravitational force of this satellite has caused the projectile to deviate from its course, sending it into orbit around the moon, as Barbicane, Ardan and Nicholl begin geographical observations with opera glasses. The projectile then dips over the northern hemisphere of the moon, into the darkness of its shadow. It is plunged into extreme cold, before emerging into the light and heat again. They are now approaching the southern hemisphere. From the safety of their projectile, they gain spectacular views of Tycho, one of the greatest of all craters on the moon. The question is of whether or not the moon is inhabited is raised...

(From Wikipedia, description text under GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL))

Project Gutenberg Edition

Free ebook in HTML format - 641 Kb - 167 pages

Full original french versions also available:
Autour de la Lune