Imaginary Spacecraft From The Past

Even though mankind didn’t reach space and later specifically the moon until the 20th century, the ideas of getting us up there were around for hundreds of years, be it via aspiring astronomers or creative authors.

Bird Powered Moon Lander

man in the moon


From The Man in the Moon by Francis Godwin.Godwin wrote the first story in English literature about space travel: The Man in the Moone: or A Discourse of a Voyage Thither by Domingo Gonsales, the Speedy Messenger. The tale was begun in about 1603–06 and finished around 1621–30; it was published in 1638.

Fireworks-Powered Moon Lander

Fireworks-Powered Moon Lander


From A Voyage to the Moon by Cyrano de Bergerac. Bergerac’s book came out in 1657, depicting himself ascending in his imaginary device, with smoke and fire surrounding him like in the real rockets that send shuttles into space.

Space Elevator

Moon elevator

A print coming from Italy during the mid 19th century. The litograph is made by Salvatore Fergola.

Hat Tip: Popular Science & The U.S. Library of Congress

For a bit more on fictional things in space, check out these tourism posters promoting space travel.