Zakharov's balloon flight, 1804

Zakharov's balloon flight, 1804

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Caption: Zakharov's balloon flight. Artwork showing the first meteorological balloon research flight in Russia, made on 30 June 1804 from St Petersburg. The two balloonists were the Russian chemist Yakov Dmitrievich Zakharov (1765-1836), member of the St Petersburg Academy of Sciences, and the Belgian balloonist the self-styled Professor Robertson (Etienne-Gaspard Robert, 1763-1837). The flight lasted 3 hours and 45 minutes, reaching a height of 2550 metres. Their observations included the effect of altitude on animals (bird in cage at upper left). Balloons of this era used hydrogen from steam passed over hot iron. Artwork photographed in 1968.

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