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DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Balloon and gondola taking off from Dubendorf, Switzerland, on 18th August 1932. The balloon is carrying the Swiss-Belgian physicist Auguste Piccard (1884-1953) and the Belgian physicist Max Cosyns (1906-1998). The balloon and gondola, which were designed by Piccard, reached an altitude of 16.201 metres, a record at the time. In order to reach the stratosphere Piccard had designed the gondola to be airtight, with pressurised air inside, and used a very large balloon, that didn't require to be fully inflated for take-off. Piccard ultimately made a total of twenty-seven balloon flights, setting a final record of 23 meters.
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