In 1851, the first humans went into space.
The American Gun Club was a group of adventurers and scientists who were the first to successfully launch a ship into space. Their methods, however, were quite unlike modern-day astronautics. With only iron and explosives, they built an incredible "gun" - a pipe at least five meters in diameter and hundreds of meters long. Into that pipe went the "shot" - a spherical vessel that held three astronauts. The vessel would be shot from the "gun," with the intention of landing the men on the moon.
On the 4th of April, 1851, the first astronauts were launched into space. Jules Verne was recorded as having been at the launching ceremony.
The capsule never reached the moon, however. It got caught in a somewhat stable orbit between the Earth and the Moon, an orbit which did not decay for over 150 years.
At the beginning of the 21st century, the space capsule finally fell to Earth, returning to its starting point. The astronauts were long dead.
The capsule and all the available records at the launch site were taken by Planetary for further analysis. The names of the astronauts and other members of the American Gun Club are unknown, as is the method by which they launched the space capsule.