Some of 007's imaginative toys were based on actual inventions.
March 01, 2013 | By Rebecca Maksel
In the 1950s, balloons carried live mice to near-space to study how the trip might affect astronauts.
January 11, 2013 | By Heather Goss
An 1880 balloon jaunt ends with our heroine up a tree.
August 16, 2012 | By Rebecca Maksel
115 years ago today, three Swedish explorers set off on the only attempt ever to reach the Pole by balloon.
July 11, 2012 | By Rebecca Maksel
When Jules Verne's novel Five Weeks in a Balloon: or, Journeys and Discoveries in Africa by Three Englishmen was translated into English in 1869, it appeared with this publisher's note: "So far as the geography, the inhabitants, the animals, and the features of the countries the travellers pass ove...
May 12, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
Adventures in Navy ballooning.
March 2011 | By Captain Marion Eppes, U.S. Navy (ret.)
Once you get used to the slightly overcaffeinated host, this is a pretty cool project —to drop a bunch of paper airplanes from a high-altitude balloon and see where they land. The team launched their balloon earlier this month, as the video shows. But, from what I can tell on their website and Twit...
January 31, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
As prizes go, this was a big one. In 1901, French oil tycoon and aviation patron Henry Deutsch de la Meurthe put up 100,000 francs (equivalent to more than $500,000 today) for the first airman who could fly a 7-mile circuit starting from a park in Paris, rounding the Eiffel Tower, then returning to...
October 19, 2010 | By Tony Reichhardt
In September 1870, not long after the start of the Franco-Prussian War, the city of Paris was under siege by Prussian soldiers. By the 19th, the German army had blocked all communication into or out of the city. There was nothing worse, wrote French journalist Francisque Sarcey, than to "live cut o...
October 13, 2010 | By Rebecca Maksel
In the wake of several misleading news headlines, researchers at Cranfield University in the U.K. have had to set the record straight: No, they're not looking for aliens in Earth's atmosphere.But they are looking for microbes floating around in the stratosphere, at altitudes up to 22 miles. The...
October 06, 2010 | By Tony Reichhardt
The celebrated aeronaut found Earth-bound life difficult to navigate.
September 2010 | By Rebecca Maksel
Of wind, helium, and hope — plus the occasional disaster.
August 2010 | By Mark Karpel
November 2009 | By J.R. Dailey
On this day in 1797, André-Jacques Garnerin made the first high-altitude jump using a parachute, over Parc Monceau in Paris. Garnerin's contraption—a basket suspended from a silk parachute—was cut loose from a balloon at an altitude of 2,000 feet. An eyewitness recalled:
He made a dreadful lurch i...
October 22, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
For balloonists Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones, the end of one journey marked the beginning of another.
September 17, 2009 | By Linda Shiner
July 2009 | By Tom D. Crouch
An illustrated history of balloons and airships.
May 20, 2009 | By Tom D. Crouch
Wondering who wrote the first description of flying over a landscape, I came across this charming passage by Jacques Charles, French scientist and inventor of the hydrogen balloon. Charles wasn't the first to fly—that honor goes to Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and the Marquis d'Arlandes, who fle...
March 04, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
Jupiter’s moon Europa is a worthy target for exploration, so don’t get me wrong. It’s good news that NASA and the European Space Agency are going forward with plans for a dual-spacecraft mission to Europa, Ganymede and Jupiter's other moons in 2020. It just means we won’t see balloons flying over S...
February 27, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
Mars, Venus, Titan - wherever there's air, we can explore by balloon.
July 2006 | By Joe Pappalardo