High-altitude Balloon - History - The First Hydrogen Balloon

The First Hydrogen Balloon

In France during 1783, the first public experiment with hydrogen-filled balloons involved Jacques Charles, a French professor of Physics and the Robert brothers, renowned constructors of physics instruments. Charles provided large quantities of hydrogen, which had only been produced in small quantities previously, by mixing 540 kg of iron and 270 kg of sulfuric acid. The balloon called Charlière took 5 days to fill and was launched from Champ de Mars in Paris where 300,000 people gathered to watch the spectacle. The balloon was launched and rose through the clouds. The expansion of the gas caused the balloon to tear and descended 45 minutes later 20 km away from Paris.

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