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几个世纪以来科幻是如何引发太空飞行的?

How centuries of sci-fi sparked spaceflight | Alex MacDonald

我想给你们讲一个关于故事的故事
I want to tell you a story about stories.
我想告诉你们这个故事
And I want to tell you this story
是因为我认为我们需要记住
because I think we need to remember
有时候我们口口相传的故事
that sometimes the storieswe tell each other
不只是传说 消遣或叙述
are more than just talesor entertainment or narratives.
它们也是在我们的社会和时代中传播灵感
They’re also vehicles for sowing inspirationand ideas across our societies
和思想的载体
and across time.
我将要告诉你们的故事是
The story I’m about to tell you is
关于现代最先进的科技成果之一
about how one of the most advanced technological achievements
是如何在故事中起源的
of the modern era has its roots in stories,
未来一些最重要的转变是如何得以发生的
and how some of the most important transformations yet to come might also.
故事始于300多年前
The story begins over 300 years ago,
那时伽利略得知荷兰最新的发明
when Galileo Galilei first learnedof the recent Dutch invention
将两块
that took two pieces
打磨过的玻璃放到一根长管子里
of shaped glass and put them in a long tube
自那时起 人类的视野变得比从前更远
and thereby extended human sightfarther than ever before.
当伽利略把他的新望远镜对向天空
When Galileo turnedhis new telescope to the heavens
尤其是对向月亮时 他发现了一些难以置信的东西
and to the Moon in particular, he discovered something incredible.
这些书页来自伽利略1610年出版的《星际信使》
These are pages from Galileo’s book”Sidereus Nuncius,” published in 1610.
在书页中 他向世人展示了他的发现
And in them, he revealed to the world what he had discovered.
他发现
And what he discovered was
月球不仅仅是一个天体
that the Moon was not just a celestial object
悬挂在夜空中
wandering across the night sky,
而是一个世界
but rather, it was a world,
一个有又高又亮的山
a world with high, sunlit mountains
和黑色的“母马” 拉丁文意思是“海”的世界
and dark”mare,” the Latin word for seas.
这片新世界和月亮一经发现
And once this new worldand the Moon had been discovered,
人们立马就开始想怎么去那儿
people immediately beganto think about how to travel there.
同样重要的是
And just as importantly,
他们开始写
they began to write stories
旅行会如何发生 旅程会是什么样子的故事
about how that might happen and what those voyages might be like.
第一个这么做的人
One of the first people to
实际上是一位名叫弗朗西斯•古德温
do so was actually the Bishop of Hereford,
的赫里福德主教
a man named Francis Godwin.
古德温的故事是关于西班牙探险家
Godwin wrote a storyabout a Spanish explorer,
多明戈•冈萨雷斯的 他最终被困在
Domingo Gonsales, who ended up marooned
大西洋中央的
on the island of St. Helena
圣赫勒拿岛 并且在那儿
in the middle of the Atlantic, and there,
为了回家
in an effort to get home,
他发明了一台机器
developed a machine, an invention,
一项借助当地大雁的力量
to harness the powerof the local wild geese
让他飞翔的发明
to allow him to fly —
并最终踏上登月之旅的故事
and eventually to embark on a voyage to the Moon.
古德温的书 《月中人》
Godwin’s book,” The Man in the Moone,
或者叫《论月球之旅》
or a Discourse of a Voyage Thither,”
直到1638年其死后才匿名出版
was only published posthumouslyand anonymously in 1638,
可能是因为该书
likely on account of the number
有许多有争议的观点
of controversial ideas that it contained,
包括支持哥白尼
including an endorsementof the Copernican view of the universe
太阳在太阳系中心的宇宙观
that put the Sun at the centerof the Solar System,
就像前牛顿引力论的观点:
as well as a pre-Newtonianconcept of gravity
物体离地球越远
that had the ideathat the weight of an object
它的重力越小
would decrease with increasingdistance from Earth.
更不用说他
And that’s to say nothing of his idea
利用一部大雁的机器
of a goose machine
就能够登月的想法
that could go to the Moon.
(笑声)
(Laughter)
虽然
And while this idea
利用大雁的机器去往月亮的想法
of a voyage to the Moon by goose machine
今天对我们来说可能看起来不是特别有见地或技术上有创造性
might not seem particularly insightfulor technically creative to us today,
重要的是
what’s important is
正如约翰尼斯•开普勒所写的
that Godwin described getting to the Moon not by a dream
古德温描述登月不再是通过睡梦或者魔法
or by magic, as Johannes Keplerhad written about,
而是通过人类的发明
but rather, through human invention.
正是这个观点 我们才能
And it was this ideathat we could build machines
建造飞向太空的机器
that could travel into the heavens,
并在一代又一代的思想中埋下种子
that would plant its seed in minds across the generations.
这个想法后来被他的同代人约翰•威尔金斯所采纳
The idea was next taken upby his contemporary, John Wilkins,
他只是牛津大学一名年轻的学生
then just a young student at Oxford, but later,
但后来 他成为了皇家学会创始人之一
one of the founders of the Royal Society.
约翰•威尔金斯认真采纳了
John Wilkins took the idea of space travel
古德温文章里太空旅行的想法
in Godwin’s text seriously
写了不仅是另一篇故事
and wrote not just another story
而且是一篇非虚构的哲学论文
but a nonfiction philosophical treatise,
名叫《在月球上发现新的世界》
entitled,”Discoveryof the New World in the Moon, or,
或者《一种倾向于证明
a Discourse Tending to Prove
那颗星球上有另一个适合居住的世界的观点》
that’tis Probable There May BeAnother Habitable World in that Planet.”
同时请注意“可居住”这个词
And note, by the way,that word”habitable.”
这个想法本身有一种强烈的刺激
That idea in itself would havebeen a powerful incentive
让人们思考怎么建造机器去那儿
for people thinking about how to build machines that could go there.
在他的书中 威尔金斯认真考虑了
In his books, Wilkins seriously considereda number of technical methods
许多宇宙飞行的科技方法
for spaceflight, and it remains
直到今天 它仍然是已知最早的
to this day the earliest known nonfiction account
我们如何飞向月球的纪实小说
of how we might travel to the Moon.
其他的故事也接踵而至 最具代表性的是
Other stories would soon follow,most notably by Cyrano de Bergerac,
西拉诺·德•伯格拉克的《月球传说》
with his”Lunar Tales.”
到17世纪中叶 人们建造
By the mid-17th century,the idea of people building machines
能够畅游宇宙的飞行机器的想法
that could travel to the heavens
在复杂性和技术细节上有所增加
was growing in complexityand technical nuance.
然而 在17世纪后期
And yet, in the late 17th century,
这种知识的进步实际上已经停止了
this intellectual progresseffectively ceased.
人们仍然在讲登月的故事
People still told storiesabout getting to the Moon,
但是他们依赖陈旧的想法
but they relied on the old ideas or,
或者说再次依靠做梦或魔法
once again, on dreams or on magic.
为什么呢?
Why? Well,
因为牛顿万有引力定律的发现
because the discoveryof the laws of gravity by Newton
以及罗伯特•胡克和罗伯特•博伊尔
and the invention of the vacuum pump
发明的真空泵
by Robert Hooke and Robert Boyle
意味着人们意识到
meant that people now understood that a condition
两个星球之间是真空的状态
of vacuum existed between the planets,
地球和月球间必然也是如此
and consequentiallybetween the Earth and the Moon.
他们没有办法克服它
And they had no way of overcoming this,
也没有想过克服它
no way of thinking about overcoming this.
因此 一个多世纪以来
And so, for well over a century,
登月的想法
the idea of a voyage to
基本上没有知识上的进展
the Moon made very little intellectual progress
直到工业革命的兴起
until the rise ofthe Industrial Revolution
以及蒸汽机和锅炉的发展
and the developmentof steam engines and boilers
最重要的是 压力容器
and most importantly, pressure vessels.
这些都给人们提供工具去思考
And these gave people the tools to think
他们怎样才能够建造
about how they could build a capsule
一个抵抗真空空间的胶囊
that could resist the vacuum of space.
就是在这种背景下 在1835年
So it was in this context, in 1835,
下一部精彩的宇宙飞行故事被写出来了
that the next great storyof spaceflight was written,
作者是埃德加•爱伦•坡
by Edgar Allan Poe. Now,
现在说到坡 我们往往会想到哥特诗
today we think of Poein terms of gothic poems
或《告密的心》和《乌鸦》
and telltale hearts and ravens.
但他自认为是一位技术思想家
But he considered himselfa technical thinker.
他在巴尔的摩长大
He grew up in Baltimore,
美国第一座带燃气街道照明的城市
the first American city with gas street lighting,
他被其身边工业革命所带来的
and he was fascinatedby the technological revolution
变化所吸引
that he saw going on all around him.
他认为自己最好的作品
He considered his own greatest work
不是他的哥特故事
not to be one of his gothic tales
而是他的史诗散文诗 《欧雷卡》
but rather his epic prose poem”Eureka,”
他在其中阐述了自己对
in which he expoundedhis own personal view
宇宙本质的观点
of the cosmographical natureof the universe.
在他的故事中 他用空想的技术细节
In his stories, he would describein fantastical technical detail
描述机器和装置
machines and contraptions,
他在这篇故事中的影响力
and nowhere was he more influential
比他的短篇小说
in this than in his short story,
《一个汉斯·普法尔无与伦比的冒险》更大
“The Unparalleled Adventureof One Hans Pfaall.”
这是一篇关于一位鹿特丹失业的风箱制作者的故事
It’s a story of an unemployedbellows maker in Rotterdam, who,
他对生活感到沮丧和厌倦
depressed and tired of life —
毕竟 这就是坡——
this is Poe, after all —
并且负债累累
and deeply in debt,
他决定制造一个由炸药推送到空中的
he decides to build a hermetically enclosed balloon-borne carriage
密闭的热气球车辆
that is launched into the air by dynamite
从地球出发 飘过真空
and from there, floatsthrough the vacuum of space
直到月球表面
all the way to the lunar surface.
重要的是 他没有独自撰写这个故事
And importantly, he did notdevelop this story alone,
在故事附录中
for in the appendix to his tale,
他明确的感谢了两百年前古德温写的
he explicitly acknowledged Godwin’s”A Man in the Moone”
《月中人》对他的影响
from over 200 years earlier as an influence
称之为“一本非凡又有独创性的小书”
calling it”a singular and somewhatingenious little book.”
尽管乘坐
And although this idea
热气球车到月球似乎并不比
of a balloon-borne voyage to the Moon may seem
大雁驱动的车更有技术含量
not much more technically sophisticatedthan the goose machine,
但事实上 坡在对装置的建造上
in fact, Poe was sufficiently detailed
有着详尽的描绘
in the descriptionof the construction of the device
至于航行的环绕动力
and in terms of the orbitaldynamics of the voyage
这个任务甚至可以记入十九世纪二十年代的
that it could be diagrammedin the very first spaceflight encyclopedia
最早的太空航行百科全书
as a mission in the 1920s.
正是因为对细节的关注 或是坡所说的“逼真”
And it was this attention to detail,or to”verisimilitude,” as he called it,
影响了下一个伟大的故事:
that would influence the next great story:
儒勒•凡尔纳写于1865的《从地球到月球》
Jules Verne’s”From the Earthto the Moon,” written in 1865.
这是一部不朽的作品
And it’s a story that hasa remarkable legacy
和真正的一百年后的月球航行有着
and a remarkable similarityto the real voyages to the Moon
不可思议的相似度
that would take placeover a hundred years later.
因为在这个故事里
Because in the story,
月球航行从弗罗里达出发
the first voyage to the Moon takes place from Florida,
飞船上载有三人
with three people on board,
航行历时三天——
in a trip that takes three days —
和真正的阿波罗计划一模一样
exactly the parameters that would prevailduring the Apollo program itself.
凡尔纳在小说里直接表达了对坡的敬意
And in an explicit tributeto Poe’s influence on him,
他将实施航行的一队人安排在了
Verne situated the group responsible for this feat
巴尔的摩
in the book in Baltimore,
在巴尔的摩火枪俱乐部里
at the Baltimore Gun Club,
他们喊着“敬埃德加·坡!”
with its members shouting,”Cheers for Edgar Poe!”
然后开始筹划征服月球的计划
as they began to lay out their plans for their conquest of the Moon.
正如凡尔纳是受坡的影响
And just as Verne was influenced by Poe, so,
第一代火箭科学家也是受
would Verne’s own story go on to influence and inspire
凡尔纳故事的影响
the first generation of rocket scientists.
液体燃料火箭的两位先驱
The two great pioneers of liquid fuel rocketry
来自俄国的康斯坦丁•陀思妥耶夫斯基
in Russia and in Germany,
和来自德国的赫曼•欧贝斯
Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and Hermann Oberth,
他们都认为青年时阅读的凡尔纳的《从地球到月球》
both traced their own commitmentto the field of spaceflight
激发了自己对太空航行的热爱
to their reading”From the Earthto the Moon” as teenagers,
所以他们为了让小说成为现实
and then subsequentlycommitting themselves
付出了毕生的心血
to trying to make that story a reality.
在十九世纪
And Verne’s story was not the only one
造成了深远影响的故事
in the 19th century
并不是只有凡尔纳的一个
with a long arm of influence.
在大西洋的另一端
On the other side of the Atlantic, H.G.
H·G 威尔斯写的《世界之战》直接影响了
Wells’s”War of the Worlds”directly inspired
马萨诸塞州的一个年轻人罗伯特•戈尔德
a young man in Massachusetts,Robert Goddard.
在他读过《世界之战》后
And it was after reading”War of the Worlds”
戈尔德在他的日记中记下
that Goddard wrote in his diary, one day
十八世纪九十年代末的一天
in the late 1890s, of resting while trimming
在家庭农场里修剪
a cherry tree on his family’s farm
樱桃树的间隙 他仿佛看见
and having a vision
一艘飞船从下方的山谷中起飞
of a spacecraft taking off from the valley below
飞入了天堂里
and ascending into the heavens.
他当时便决定了
And he decided then and there
他会付出一生的精力
that he would commit the rest of his life
来建造他看见的飞船
to the development of the spacecraft that he saw in his mind’s eye.
而且他确实做到了
And he did exactly that.
在他的职业生涯里
Throughout his career,he would celebrate that day
他把那天作为他的纪念日“樱桃树日”
as his anniversary day,his cherry tree day,
而且他会定期反复阅读
and he would regularly read and
凡尔纳和威尔斯的著作
reread the works of Verne and of Wells
来激发他的灵感 激励他
in order to renew his inspirationand his commitment
付出所需的数十年的心血
over the decades of laborand effort that would be required
来实现他梦想的第一部分:
to realize the first part of his dream:
液体燃料火箭航行 最终于1926年实现
the flight of a liquid fuel rocket, which he finally achieved in 1926.
而也正是《从地球到月球》和《世界之战》
So it was while reading”From the Earthto the Moon” and”The War of the Worlds”
激励了航天学的先驱
that the first pioneers
付出了一生精力
of astronautics were inspired to dedicate their lives
来解决太空航行的诸多问题
to solving the problems of spaceflight.
他们的论文和著作也同样
And it was their treatisesand their works in turn
激励了第一个技术组织
that inspired the firsttechnical communities
和第一个太空航行计划
and the first projects of spaceflight,
这就产生了一个直接的影响链——
thus creating a direct chain of influence
从古德温到坡再到凡尔纳
that goes from Godwin to Poe to Verne
最后到阿波罗计划和今天的航天组织
to the Apollo program and to the present-daycommunities of spaceflight.
我为什么要告诉你们这些?
So why I have told you all this?
是因为我觉得这很酷
Is it just because I think it’s cool,
还是因为我只是对十七到十九世纪
or because I’m justweirdly fascinated by stories
的科幻小说有种奇怪的迷恋?
of 17th- and 19th-century science fiction?
其实 说实话 有一部分吧
It is, admittedly, partly that.
但我其实是认为这些故事提醒了我们
But I also thinkthat these stories remind us
太空航行甚至是更广义的科技发明
of the cultural processesdriving spaceflight
背后的文化驱动力
and even technologicalinnovation more broadly.
作为在NASA工作的经济学家
As an economist working at NASA,
我思考了我们通向太空旅程
I spend time thinking about the economic origins
背后的经济学起因
of our movement out into the cosmos.
当你越过亿万富翁的科技企业投资
And when you look before the investmentsof billionaire tech entrepreneurs
越过冷战的太空竞赛
and before the Cold War Space Race,
甚至越过液体火箭上的军事投资来看的话
and even before the military investments in liquid fuel rocketry,
太空航行的经济学起因实际上是故事和想法
the economic origins of spaceflight are found in stories and in ideas.
正是在这些故事里 太空航行的概念被建构起来
It was in these stories that the first concepts for spaceflight were articulated.
也正是从这些故事里
And it was through these stories that the narrative
人类迈向太空的未来
of a future for humanity in space
在一个又一个心灵中传播
began to propagate from mind to mind,
最终创造出一个跨越代际的知识聚合体
eventually creating an intergenerationalintellectual community
让太空旅行的概念在其中迭代
that would iterateon the ideas for spacecraft
直到人们把它变为现实
until such a timeas they could finally be built.
这个过程持续了三百多年
This process has now been going onfor over 300 years,
最终创造了太空航行的文化
and the result isa culture of spaceflight.
这个文化涉及到几百年来的
It’s a culture that involvesthousands of people
成千上万的人
over hundreds of years.
因为在几百年来
Because for hundreds of years,
我们中有人仰望星空
some of us have looked at the stars
渴望飞向太空
and longed to go.
因为几百年来
And because for hundreds of years,
我们中有人为了理论和系统的发展付出了心血
some of us have dedicated our labors to the development of the concepts and systems
最终让太空旅行成为现实
required to make those voyages possible.
我告诉你们古德温 坡和凡尔纳
I also wanted to tell youabout Godwin, Poe and Verne
还是因为他们的故事还提醒了我们
because I think their storiesalso tell us of the importance
我们述说未来故事的重要性
of the stories that we tell each other about the future more generally.
因为那些故事并不只是传播信息或是思想
Because these stories don’t justtransmit information or ideas.
它们也在孕育激情
They can also nurture passions,
让我们愿意为重要的计划实现
passions that can lead usto dedicate our lives
而付出毕生努力的激情
to the realization of important projects.
意味着这些故事能够也的确在
Which means that these stories can and do
影响着几个世纪以后的
influence social and technological forces
社会和科技力量
centuries into the future.
我认为我们应该在讲故事时
I think we need to realize this and
意识到并记住这一点
remember it when we tell our stories.
我们应该努力写好故事
We need to work hard to write stories
它们并不只向我们展示了
that don’t just show us the
我们惧怕走上的反乌托邦的路
possible dystopian paths we may take for a fear
我们讲述越多的反乌托邦故事
that the more dystopian stories we tell each other,
我们也就种下了越多的反乌托邦的种子
the more we plant seedsfor possible dystopian futures.
相反我们讲述的故事应该种下种子
Instead we need to tell storiesthat plant the seeds,
如果不非得是乌托邦的种子
if not necessarily for utopias,
那么至少是科技发展
then at least for great new projects of technological, societal
社会或制度变革的种子
and institutional transformation.
如果这个讲故事能够
And if we think of this idea
改变未来的想法
that the stories we tell each other
听起来像是天方夜谭
can transform the future is fanciful or impossible,
那么我们也许该记住这个
then I think we need to rememberthe example of this,
从地球到月球 一个十七世纪的点子
our voyage to the Moon, an idea from the 17th century
在三百年来世代相传
that propagated culturallyfor over 300 years
直到最终它变为现实 所以
until it could finally be realized. So,
我们应该写写新的故事
we need to write new stories,
不是一般的故事 而是三百年后
stories that, 300 years in the future,
人们会回望历史并感慨
people will be able to look back upon and remark
它是如何激励人类不断进步
how they inspired usto new heights and to new shores,
如何向人类展示崭新的天地和无限的可能
how they showed us new pathsand new possibilities,
如何创造出了更美好的世界的故事
and how they shapedour world for the better.
谢谢你
Thank you.
(掌声)
(Applause)

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译制信息
视频概述

科幻如何影响现实

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

NGE

审核员

审核员 V

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jNlpGLpelg

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