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Joseph-Michel de Montgolfier. Portrait of the French co-inventor of the hot-air balloon Joseph- Michel de Montgolfier (1740-1810). Along with his brother, Jacques, Joseph pioneered aeronautics in the eighteenth century. In 1782 the brothers discovered that heated air collected inside a lightweight paper or fabric bag caused the bag to rise into the air. The first manned balloon flight took place in Paris, France, in 1783 in a balloon designed by the brothers. The Montgolfier design was incorporated into larger balloons that opened the way to exploration of the Upper atmosphere. Joseph also designed a parachute and tested it in 1784 on a sheep dropped from a tower.
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