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A JOURNEY TO VENUS

(" Detroit Free Press.") Let us for a moment suppose certain railways to be bollt— one round the world In a perfeot olrole, others to various points Id the solar system. And we will farther suppose that the trains on these railways coald be kept going at the rat* of 60 miles an hoar for any required length of time; that their passengers oonld do without food, or ooald be sup* piled with an abundance of It ; that the bodies of auoh passengers ooald be made capable of enduring the various changes of air, tempera are, and other olimatio conditions to which they would .ba exposed. And on our world this kind of travel would be comparatively easy, and would take next to no time. la 24 hours the passenger oonld travel 1440 miles oi considerably farther than frum New York to Obtoftgo. In 48 hours ho oould travel as far as from Boston to Liverpool, and In less than 17 days he oould ro round the world. But, ai regards the jooraeys In spaoe, a difficulty in molt oases Insuperable would stand In the way* In order to visit any but a very few of the nearest bodies In ip»oe, the traveller! on oar oelesttal railways, would need to have their lives very greatly prolonged. Were they to set out for any distant part of the system they would die before they had fairly b9guu their journey. A voyage to the moon, to Venus, or to Mm, would under the above oondltloos, be possible ; to any other body la the system ft would be Impossible The journey to tba moon would be eon* paratlvely short. Our oompanion is die* tant is about 240,000 miles j or, in round nambers, its distance contains ten tlmei as many miles as are oontained In the earth's olronmferenoe. Travelling at the rate of sixty miles an boar, and never stopping, It would take between 166 and 167 days to reach tba j -turner's end* Oompared with othel heavenly distances, this Is a mere nothing but oompared with the dlstanoea aetaally traversed by the average mau. It Is very great Indeed. Few ever travel at sixty miles an hour, and then only lor short periods, and at considerable Internist Mmy, probably the majority, of thoie who live to a good old age, oover less than 240,000 mlleo during their whole lives. A great traveller might do It In, say fifteen years, For even a oonduofcor or engineer of an express train It would require several years. ,

Let us now take a trip to the planst Venus, oar next nearest neighbor. This will be a muoh more formidable underundertaking. We have seen that a snooesslon of the longest journeys over this earth would form but short and passing episodes In a lifetime. We have seen that, on one of oar imaginary railways, the traveller oould olrole the world In less than three weeke. We have seen, net only^ that a journey to the moon is quit* possible to the passengers by our oeleatial railway, bat that equ»l and even grtatei dlstanoes are often travailed on earth. But a trip to Venus would Be a very different matter. Venus Is about twenty, six million miles away; or, at sixty miles an hour, without stopping, she is distant a journey not of three weeks, of six months, bat of some 50 years, On the Imaginary railway, such a journey would be possible, for a great mtnr persons live longer than 60 years. But In real Hfs no one ever has travelled, and no one ever will travel, anything like so far. No hnman being ever has travelled 6,000,000 miles and It Is safe to say no one ever will. To complete this measure of journeying wonld require an average of 100,000 miles a yaar for 50 years. Some few, perhaps In all their lives, may have travelled 1,000,000 miles, but these are probably very rare exceptions. Bo we see that no one ever has lived who has travelled more than a small part of the dtitanoe to Venut, Fet, oompared with other bodies in the system, this stai may be said to be almost a next door neighbor*

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A JOURNEY TO VENUS Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2140, 1 June 1889

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