Thursday 10 July 2014

Ship or sails adapted to the heavenly breezes

Johannes Kepler in a letter to Galileo Galilei - Conversation with the Messenger from the Stars - dated 19 April 1610:

As soon as somebody demonstrates the art of flying, settlers from our species of man will not be lacking [on the Moon and Jupiter]... Who would have believed that a huge ocean could be crossed more peacefully and safely than the the narrow expanse of the Adriatic, the Baltic Sea or the English Channel? Provide ship or sails adapted to the heavenly breezes, and there will be some who will not fear even that void [of space]... So, for those who will come shortly to attempt this journey, let us establish the astronomy: Galileo, you of Jupiter, I of the Moon.