When Jules Verne sent three men to the moon in his 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon, he did so in a projectile fired from a massive gun. Even Verne, known for his visionary and a futuristic ideas, did not believe a rocket could do the job. Rockets of the era were relatively small and crude gunpowder-based devices used only for firing projectiles into enemy land. But as rockets grew in power and sophistication, it became the primary and currently the only method of launching things into space. But gun propulsion as a method of space launching was not entirely abandoned.
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The 16-inch gun used during Project HARP, along with a smaller gun in Barbados. Photo: Graham/Flickr