Jules Verne: From the Earth to the Moon
From the Earth to the Moon is a novel by Jules Verne. It tells the story of the Baltimore Gun Club, a post-American Civil War society of weapons aficionados, and their attempts to build an enormous sky-facing Columbiad space gun and launch three people — the Gun Club's president, his Philadelphian armor-making rival, and a French poet — in a projectile with the goal of a moon landing.
It has been some time since the end of the American Civil War. The Gun Club, a society based in Baltimore and dedicated to the design of weapons of all kinds (especially cannons), meets when Impey Barbicane, its president, calls them to support his idea: according to his calculations, a cannon can shoot a projectile so that it reaches the moon. After receiving the whole support of his companions, a few of them meet to decide the place from where the projectile will be shot, the dimensions and makings of both the cannon and the projectile, and which kind of powder are they to use.
An old enemy of Barbicane, a Captain Nicholl of Philadelphia, designer of plate armor, declares that the enterprise is absurd and makes a series of bets with Barbicane, each of them of increasing amount over the impossibility of such feat.