Le rêve de l’espace

Voilà plus de 50 ans que des visionnaires comme l’auteur de science-fiction britanniqueArthur C. Clarke et le concepteur de fusées allemand (et américain) Wernher von Braun ont imaginé une série d’étapes pour le voyage dans l’espace. Clark présenta sa vision dans un ouvrage publié en 1951, L’exploration de l’espace , et les propositions de von Braun parurent dans une série d’articles du magazine Collier’s publiés entre 1952 et 1954.

Quelques années plus tard (cela fait tout juste 50 ans cette semaine, en fait), l’Union soviétique lançait le premier satellite en orbite autour de la terre, inaugurant l’ère de l’espace. Après 50 années, de nombreux éléments de la vision d’origine ont vu le jour, certains ont échoué, et les surprises n’ont pas manqué.

Clarke et von Braun se heurtèrent à un mur de scepticisme lors de la première publication de leurs propositions. Le public considérait le voyage dans l’espace comme de la science-fiction, une forme de divertissement populaire qui n’avait que très peu de chance de se concrétiser.

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