By Becky Ferreira Jan 31, 2013
"The Man in the Moone" by Francis Godwin (1638)
The artist's intent: To illustrate Godwin's lunar adventure story in a way that seemed scientifically feasible.
The outcome: The first rumblings of a race to land on the moon. The 17th Century bore witness to a veritable tidal wave of lunar science fiction, inspired by Galileo's detailed observations of the moon's surface features. Dozens of stories about moon landings were published and performed in theaters, and by the close of the century, lunar colonization was accepted as an inevitability not only by academics but by many laymen.