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"The Brick Moon" is a novella by American writer Edward Everett Hale, published serially in The Atlantic Monthly starting in 1869. It is a work of speculative fiction containing the first known depiction of the launch of an artificial satellite.

Synopsis

"The Brick Moon" is presented as a journal. It describes the construction and launch into orbit of a sphere, 200 feet in diameter, built of bricks. The device is intended as a navigational aid, but is accidentally launched with people aboard.[1] They survive, and so the story also provides the first known fictional description[1] of a space station. The author even correctly surmised the idea of needing four satellites visible above the horizon for navigation, as in modern-day GPS.

Publication history

"The Brick Moon" was first released serially in three parts in The Atlantic Monthly in 1869.[2][3] A fourth part, entitled "Life on the Brick Moon", was also published in The Atlantic Monthly in 1870.[4] It was collected as the title work in Hale's anthology The Brick Moon and Other Stories in 1899.[5]

Influence

In 1877, Asaph Hall discovered the two moons of Mars. He wrote to Hale, comparing the smaller Martian moon, Deimos, to the Brick Moon.[2]

In the Long Earth series by Terry Patchett and Stephen Baxter a space station built in "The Gap" (where the Earth is missing) is named "the Brick Moon". It appears in two of the novels: The Long War (2013) and The Long Mars (2014).

References

  1. ^ a b Mann, Adam (2012-01-25). "Strange Forgotten Space Station Concepts That Never Flew". Wired Magazine. Retrieved 2012-01-24.
  2. orbit of a sphere, 200 feet in diameter, built of bricks. The device is intended as a navigational aid, but is accidentally launched with people aboard.[1] They survive, and so the story also provides the first known fictional description[1] of a space station. The author even correctly surmised the idea of needing four satellites visible above the horizon for navigation, as in modern-day GPS.

    Publication history

    "The Brick Moon" was first released serially in three parts in The Atlantic Monthly in 1869.[2][3] A fourth part, entitled "Life on the Brick Moon", was also published in The Atlantic Monthly in 1870.[4] It was collected as the title work in Hale's anthology The Brick Moon and Other Stories in 1899.[5]

    Influence

    "The Brick Moon" was first released serially in three parts in The Atlantic Monthly in 1869.[2][3] A fourth part, entitled "Life on the Brick Moon", was also published in The Atlantic Monthly in 1870.[4] It was collected as the title work in Hale's anthology The Brick Moon and Other Stories in 1899.[5]

    Influence

    In 1877, Asaph Hall discovered the two moons of Mars. He wrote to Hale, comparing the smaller Martian moon, Deimos, to the Brick Moon.[2]

    In the Long Earth series by Terry Patchett and Stephen Baxter a space station built in "

    In the Long Earth series by Terry Patchett and Stephen Baxter a space station built in "The Gap" (where the Earth is missing) is named "the Brick Moon". It appears in two of the novels: The Long War (2013) and The Long Mars (2014).


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