28

Have they? Given that Muggles put the first man in space in 1961, even by 1991 a lot of Muggleborns perfectly aware of the space-travel would have passed through Hogwarts and into the Ministry, even the Department of Mysteries (which seems to be a bit like their research division/Area 51 combo)

And even leaving Muggle technology (which Wizards don't care for or about) aside, Humans have wondered about air travel to "other worlds" and meeting aliens from the time of the Ancient Greeks, surely some Witch or Wizard somewhere might have wondered if it really was possible to fly to the moon?

So, is there any canon (aka Books + Pottermore + Rowling interviews) evidence of the Wizarding community having ever travelled or trying to travel to space / other planets or satellites?

ETA: Note, I am also totally okay (and in fact would be eager for) historical "Famous Wizard" card-like tidbits from canon-sources.

AWESOME example (that I'm frankly not expecting): When the Muggles managed to land on the Moon, the Department of Mysteries had to scramble to hide the Silver-backed Moon Dragon conservatory they had been maintaining near the landing site.

ALSO AWESOME example (that I am hoping for): Warlock Flibberti and Witch Tigget misused this earth-based spell and amusingly found themselves on the moon with their pet monkey instead!

  • Could this question be a possible duplicate of this. scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/35095/… – Pobrecita Jul 22 '14 at 2:43
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    @iliveunderawesomerock Not particularly... I'm looking even for stuff like random historical "Famous Wizard" card-like tidbits from canon-sources, such as - Warlock Flibberti misused this earth-based spell and amusingly found himself on the moon instead! or While trying to levitate her pet monkey, Witch Tigget accidentally launched it up high, where it was found floating beyond the atmospehere!. Silly stuff like that is also good for me. – Shisa Jul 22 '14 at 2:54
  • if you say so then. I like the question 1+. Other people might mark as duplicate though because it is closely related. But I wasn't sure. So maybe you should put what you told me in your question to make it clearer. – Pobrecita Jul 22 '14 at 3:00
  • @iliveunderawesomerock Yup, thanks for pointing this out :) Have added the example of things I'm looking for in the question iteself. – Shisa Jul 22 '14 at 3:04
  • The first Muggle was shot into space in 1961, not 1951. – sbi Jul 22 '14 at 17:07
16

A few hints at the concept, but no evidence that it’s actualy been done.

There’s enough evidence to suggest that magical society has discussed the possibility of leaving Earth, but nothing to suggest that they actually have.

  • According to the HP Wiki, then there was a portrait of a witch flying to the Moon in the film adaptation (I haven’t verified this). Here’s the picture they provide:

    enter image description here

    Without tracking down the individual clip, I can’t be sure whether she actually flies to the Moon in the portrait, or just sits there. But hey, it’s something.

  • When Harry first picks up a copy of The Quibbler, there’s an individual who claims they flew to the Moon on a broomstick:

    He flicked through the rest of the magazine. Pausing every few pages he read […] an interview with a wizard who claimed to have flown to the moon on a Cleansweep Six and brought back a bag of Moon Frogs to prove it.

    Order of the Phoenix, chapter 10 (Luna Lovegood)

    However, Moon Frogs are never mentioned again, nor is this person, and it was published in the Quibbler, so it’s of dubious quality.

    (Now, perhaps he hoped to be able to compare his captured Moon Frogs to existing specimens, which means that somebody else would have to have already been to the Moon. But that logic seems a bit advanced for somebody who publishes this tale in The Quibbler.)

  • When Ron is trying to flirt with some Veela in the Quidditch World Cup, he makes bold claims about an impressive space-related invention:

    He turned to tell Ron this, but Ron’s face had gone oddly slack, and next second Ron was yelling, “Did I tell you I’ve invented a broomstick that’ll reach Jupiter?”

    Goblet of Fire, chapter 9 (The Dark Mark)

I’ve gone over all the Famous Wizard Cards I know about and found no reference to space exploration. I also looked through Quidditch through the Ages, and the best I could find is a broom called a “Moontrimmer”, but this is almost certainly a marketing term rather than a statement of actual ability. I’ve also not seen anything in Pottermore about this.

Perhaps wizards have their own version of science fiction, where they talk about travelling to the Moon and similar faraway places, like Muggles did. But what would they call it? Unscience fiction?


Speculation

It’s not explicitly stated, but I suspect space exploration would be impossible with current magical technology.

Our nearest celestial body, the Moon, seems out-of-reach for the two most common forms of magical transport: brooms or apparition.

Brooms fail on both range and speed. I see them more as analogous to small aircraft. We learn that crossing the Atlantic on a broomstick was quite a momentous achievement (cf. Amelia Earhart):

Jocunda Sykes (b. 1915)

Famously became the first witch or wizard to fly across the Atlantic Ocean on a broomstick, in 1935. She rode an Oakshaft 79.

Wizard of the Month, JKRowling.com (January 2006)

The Moon is an order of magnitude further than the Atlantic.

Then there’s speed. When Harry first sees the Firebolt in the window of Quality Quidditch Supplies, he learns its acceleration:

The Firebolt has an acceleration of 150 miles an hour in ten seconds and incorporates an unbreakable braking charm.

Prisoner of Azkaban, chapter 4 (The Leaky Cauldron)

Travelling to the Moon at 150 mph would take about 65 days, which probably puts it out of the question. For contrast, the Apollo 11 rockets travelled at about 25,000 mph.

(As @user20310 points out in the comments, acceleration =/= maximum speed, but we have no evidence that a Firebolt can travel within an order of magnitude of the speed necessary. I’m guessing that it can’t.)

The broomstick simply can’t travel far or fast enough to reach celestial bodies, and if it could, it offers absolutely no protection to the occupants. Anybody who tried would be dead long before they got anywhere.

Although they’re discussed much because they’re banned in the UK, flying carpets are mentioned in the series. I think we can discount them for similar reasons.

We’ve discussed the physical limits of apparition before, and it does have an implied distance limit. It also seems that you need to focus on your destination in some detail for apparition, and so apparition is probably out for the first trip to the Moon.

Unless the Ministry have an enormous sleeve and something equally enormous tucked up inside it that is capable of fast, long-distance, safe flight into space, I would guess that the magical community have never gone into space. Sadface. :(

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    An acceleration of 0-150mph in ten seconds does not imply a maximum speed of 150mph (many cars have 0-60mph times quoted but have maximum speeds of over a hundred miles per hour), this particularly true in space where "maximum speed" makes no sense. 0-150mph in ten seconds is equivalent to an acceleration of 15m/s^2. Assuming such an acceleration could be maintained (and in vacuum there’s no reason to think it couldn't) then the trip would take 84 minutes. Of course you would arrive at the suicidal 273,362 km/h. To allow time to decelerate the journey would be more like 3 hours – user20310 Jul 22 '14 at 12:22
  • @user20310: You’re correct, of course, that acceleration != max speed, but I think it’s more akin to the “0-60” time for a car. A fast car might accelerate by 60mph in 5s, but it can’t sustain that rate of acceleration indefinitely. It probably can go faster than 150mph, but an order of magnitude more speed is required to get to the Moon. – alexwlchan Jul 22 '14 at 12:24
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    You're thinking in "atmospheric" physics terms. A car's top speed is entirely donimated by air resistance. Remove the air resistance and it could go much much faster. Of course because a car is propelled by rotating parts the wheels would eventually explode (and you'd need higher gears) but if you have "rocket style" engine then in the absence of air resistance you have no top speed (assuming more fuel is magically provided for you)). – user20310 Jul 22 '14 at 12:30
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    Brooms or apparition, yeah, but what about a portkey? – user32390 Jan 27 '16 at 8:03
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    "Although they’re discussed much because they’re banned in the UK, flying carpets ..." Shouldn't there be a "not" in there? – RedCaio Jul 10 '16 at 19:50
1

The answer is No.

No there was never anything canon about wizards going to space and traveling or making space traveling advances in the Harry Potter books.

They might of as many of there spells would have been useful in doing such a endeavor. Also, the only thing about space exploration I got from the series was the fact that Hogwarts teaches Astronomy.

One thing is that when Harry goes to Diagon Alley he sees a very detailed mini version of the galaxy.If the version is correct then that means that the wizards did go to space or know someone who did.

He was sorely tempted, too, by the perfect, moving model of the galaxy in a large glass ball, which would have meant he never had to take another Astronomy lesson. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter 4.

Also remember in the 5th book when they were going through the planet room in the ministry.

Space Chamber

This is a dark room full of planets floating in mid-air. Presumably, it is from this Chamber where Wizards study the aspect of space, as it is one of the limits of magic (along with time). Visitors may find themselves floating as well. Luna Lovegood deemed it "a very odd place" and used the Reductor Curse on the Pluto replica to block an attacking Death Eater during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries.

Things that might help.

This question is closely linked to your question.

This is a quote given from the accepted answer by Slytherincess

In the 10 canon books, Pottermore, and J.K. Rowling interviews, I have never heard J.K. Rowling address whether wizards would know more about the galaxy than Muggles.

Also, this site talks about the course of Astronomy I don't know how canon it is, but you can always try. The site said "fandom" so it is probably worse than the wikia.

From the wikia about astronomy.

They know about space though.

"Harry, yours is okay except for this bit at the end, I think you must have misheard Professor Sinistra. Europa's covered in ice, not mice." —Hermione Granger to Harry Potter in 1995.

That was in the book(I think) to. How do they know about Europa unless they have been there or studied it with a spacecraft. But I don't think they could have studied via spacecraft or satellite and still charmed it as technology and magic don't mix(as stated by Hermione in the 4th book when she talking about bugs in Hogwarts). So they either went there or they used muggle technology without the perks of magic.

During the fifth year of studies at Hogwarts, students must study Jupiter's moons and write an essay containing facts such as Europa being covered by ice and Io having many volcanoes. For the Astronomy O.W.L. exam in their fifth year, each student has to "fill in a blank star chart" based on a few hours of observing the night sky. Coursework during this year was intensive enough that some students had to organise a meeting to help each other get through it.

First year

During the first year of studies at Hogwarts, students must study the night skies through their telescopes every Wednesday at midnight and learn the different names of the stars and the movements of the planets. Toward the end of the year, Hermione was quizzing Ron on Astronomy. Their studying included using a map of Jupiter. It was noted that Harry tried to learn the names of Jupiter's moons in his fifth year of study at Hogwarts.

From the wikia about Professor Sinistra

She taught her lessons at midnight at the top of the Astronomy Tower, the highest point of the castle. Her students each required a telescope for her lessons, and she taught all about the different stars and constellations, as well as moons and planets.

All in all, the wizards teaching of Astronomy was very detailed for someone who had never traveled there. So I would hazard to say that have been there or sent drones there.

Also there is this link from reddit, but it is very shifty.

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    "How do they know about Europa unless they have been there." - Ask a muggle or use a telescope, like we did. You don't have to send out space probes to be able to see that there are moons and planets. – OrangeDog Jul 22 '14 at 7:03
  • @OrangeDog Good point, I had thought the discovery of the ice cover by us the muggles only happened when we sent up a satellite to Europan orbit, but it turns out we did it from Earth-based telescopes (and used the Europan oribital satellite just for without-a-doubt confirmation) – Shisa Jul 23 '14 at 1:12
  • "Luna Lovegood ... used the Reductor Curse on the Pluto replica" so that's what happened to Pluto!?!?! :) – RedCaio Jul 10 '16 at 19:43
  • This answer starts off with a definitive "no" but then spends much of the rest of the space arguing "yes", particularly the last sentence in which you seem to conclude that the answer probably is "yes". – Alex Feb 28 at 23:04
1

According to some Wizarding theories, wizards originate from Mars

From the Wizards of the Month section of J.K. Rowling's old website:

Hambledon Quince
1936 - present
Author of controversial theory that wizards originate from Mars, Muggles from mushrooms.

Of course, bear in mind that this is a controversial theory which likely hasn't been actually proven.

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