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After being fired out of the giant Columbiad, the bullet-shaped projectile along with its three passengers, Barbicane, Nicholl and Michel Ardan, begins the five-day trip to the moon. After a close collission with meteor the three astronauts discover that the gravitational force of this satellite has sent them into an orbit around the moon. As Barbicane, Ardan and Nicholl begin geographical observations with opera glasses. They gain spectacular views of Tycho, one of the greatest of all craters on the moon. But then the projectile begins to move slowly away from the moon, towards the 'dead point', a place of which the gravitational attraction of the moon and earth becomes equal. Michel Ardan then hits upon the idea of using the rockets fixed to the bottom of the projectile, but the rockets are fired too late and the projectile falls to the earth at a speed of 115,200 miles per hour. (source: Wikipedia)
The moment that the great clock belonging to the works at Stony Hill had struck ten, Barbican, Ardan and M'Nicholl began to take their last farewells of the numerous friends surrounding them. The two dogs intended to accompany them had been already deposited in the Projectile. The three travellers approached the mouth of the enormous cannon, seated themselves in the flying car, and once more took leave for the last time of the vast throng standing in silence around them. The windlass creaked, the car started, and the three daring men disappeared in the yawning gulf.
The trap–hole giving them ready access to the interior of the Projectile, the car soon came back empty; the great windlass was presently rolled away; the tackle and scaffolding were removed, and in a short space of time the great mouth of the Columbiad was completely rid of all obstructions.
M'Nicholl took upon himself to fasten the door of the trap on the inside by means of a powerful combination of screws and bolts of his own invention. He also covered up very carefully the glass lights with strong iron plates of extreme solidity and tightly fitting joints.