The first manned spaceship was launched during the month of December, by the United States from a base in Florida. The ship was made up mostly of aluminum, weighed 19,250 pounds, and cost what would now be about $12.1 billion to build. After three of the astronauts completed their moonwalk, they returned to Earth. Their capsule splashed down into the Pacific Ocean and was recovered by a U.S. Navy vessel.
Why are we boring you with history? Actually, we're not -- this is the plot of an 1865 novel by Jules Verne, whose frighteningly accurate visions of space travel lead us to conclude that he had to be some kind of time-traveling space-wizard.
via 6 Eerily Specific Inventions Predicted in Science Fiction | Cracked.com.
He was born in the harbour city of Nantes in Western France. The oldest of five children, he spent his early years at home with his parents. The family spent summers in a country house just outside the city, on the banks of the Loire River. Verne and his brother Paul, of whom Verne was very fond, would often rent a boat for a franc a day. The sight of the many ships navigating the river sparked Verne's imagination, as he describes in the autobiographical short story "Souvenirs d'Enfance et de Jeunesse". When Verne was nine, he and Paul were sent to boarding school at the Saint Donatien College (Petit séminaire de Saint-Donatien). As a child, he developed a great interest in travel and exploration, a passion he showed as a writer of adventure stories and science fiction. At twelve, he snuck onto a ship that was bound for India, the Coralie, only to be caught and severely whipped by his father. He famously stated, "I shall from now on only travel in my imagination."