A VOYAGE IN SPACE
THE STARTING-POINT, OUR EARTH
The idea of a "Voyage in Space" is not new by any means. Two thousand years ago it occurred to the Greek writer Lucian to suppose a man flying up to the heavens. He called him Icaro-menippus, because Icarus was supposed to have been the first man to fly. In one of the old stories which were told to Greek children (just as stories are still told to children even in our twentieth century), it was related how Daedalus, the father of Icarus, made him some beautiful wings; but they were only fastened on with wax, and when Icarus flew near the Sun, the wax melted and he fell. Lucian's Icaromenippus was wiser. He caught a large eagle and a large vulture; and then he relates how
[I]cut off very carefully the right wing of the eagle and the left of the vulture, then tied them on, securing them over the shoulder by strong straps, and at the ends of the quill feathers I put in things like loops for my hands to grip.
- Six Dialogues of Lucian, by S. T. Irwin. Methuen & Co., 1894.