Everyone is celebrating the Apollo 11 moon landing, but few people realize that it is not the first time man has attempted to fly to the moon – there was a mission way back in the 17th century.
Wilkins believed that we were held on Earth by a form of magnetism. His observations of clouds suggested to him that if man could reach an altitude of just 20 miles, he could be free of this force and be able to fly through space.
He was fascinated by mechanical devices, clockwork and springs. His big idea was to build a real “spaceship” a flying machine designed like a ship but with a powerful spring, clockwork gears plus a set of wings. Gunpowder could be used for a primitive form of internal combustion engine.