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Space History Photo: Brick Moon Space Station Concept

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An artist's impression of the "Brick Moon." (Image credit: NASA.)

In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, an artist gives his impression of the "Brick Moon." "The Brick Moon" was the title of an article published in the Atlantic Monthly by Edward Everett Hale in 1869. This piece was the first known proposal for an Earth-orbiting satellite.

Hale envisioned that the satellite could be used by mariners as a navigational aid. He believed it would be the longitudinal companion to the latitudinal North Star. In 1869, this story was considered fantasy but in retrospect "The Brick Moon" foreshadowed the need for a space station and some of its technologies.

[Far Out Space Station Concepts by NASA (Gallery )]

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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the U.S. government agency in charge of the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. Founded in 1958, NASA is a civilian space agency aimed at exploring the universe with space telescopes,  satellites, robotic spacecraft, astronauts and more. The space agency has 10 major centers based across the U.S. and launches robotic and crewed missions from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral Florida. It's astronaut corps is based at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. To follow NASA's latest mission, follow the space agency on Twitter or any other social channel, of visit: nasa.gov