Monday, August 27, 2007

August 27, 1783: First Unmanned Hydrogen Balloon Flight

On August 26, 1783, the physicist Jacques Charles sent up the first unmanned hydrogen-filled balloon. Leaving from the Champs de Mars in Paris, France, the balloon rose to an altitude of 3000 feet. It returned to earth in a village sixteen kilometers (ten miles) away, where terrified villagers attacked this "monster from the skies" with pickaxes and spades. One of the spectators at this event was the American ambassador to France, Benjamin Franklin.


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