17
$\begingroup$

In his novels 'From the Earth to the Moon', and 'Around the Moon', Jules Verne writes about a set of rockets fitted to the spacecraft he imagined, that were intended to be fired in order to slow down the fall to the moon's surface. Later in the adventure, they are indeed fired, but in order to change the trajectory...

Verne wrote all that in the 1860's. Was he the first to propose the retro-rocket?

From the Earth to the Moon Around the Moon

$\endgroup$
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ It's a good question. If there is no answer forthcoming after a while, there is also a History of Science and Math SE site as well, but it may be answered here. Have a look at this question and multiple answers: When did the concept of “stages” enter rocketry? as an example of "rocket history" answers. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Oct 8 '18 at 12:35
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It sounds like we can cross Cyrano de Bergerac off the list of potential alternate first-proposers of the retro-rocket concept, though he may have indeed "proposed" other concepts. ;-) $\endgroup$ – uhoh Oct 8 '18 at 13:53
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ It was actually tested on a Jeep in 1946. $\endgroup$ – Camille Goudeseune Jan 24 at 6:21
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You'd probably have to win a close-war, but I think this would be on-topic, nearly verbatim, at SF&F. Who was the first to propose the retro-rocket concept? $\endgroup$ – Mazura Mar 12 at 4:25
3
$\begingroup$

The idea of using a rocket for retrograde propulsion to slow down likely dates back as far as the Sibiu manuscript by Conrad Haas from the mid 16th century, or Johann Schmidlap's book "Künstliche und rechtschaffene Fewrwerck zum Schimpff" from 1561:

sibiu schmidlap

| improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Holy smokes, this is from the sixteenth century? I didn't know the concept existed 500 years ago, sheesh. I see what looks like a rocket engine in these photos, but how do you figure it was intended for retrograde fire? $\endgroup$ – BMF Oct 1 at 23:23

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.