Piccard's balloon gondola, 1932.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 31cm x 32cm

Piccard's balloon gondola, 1932.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


This sealed cabin gondola was used by Profesor Auguste Piccard (1884-1962) and his asistant, Paul Kipfer, on their second ascent into the stratosphere. They ascended from Zurich on 18th August 1932 and reached a height of 53,152 feet (16,201 metres). On 27th May 1931 they had set a world record height of 51,775 feet (15,781 metres). Piccard was a scientist interested in studying the stratosphere rather than a record breaker, and this second gondola was equipped with radio and improved scientific equipment.

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