Piccard and his twin brother Jean Felix Piccard were born in Basel, Switzerland on 28 January 1884. In 1930, an interest in ballooning, and a curiosity about the upper atmosphere led him to design a spherical, pressurized aluminum gondola that would allow ascent to great altitude without requiring a pressure suit. An important motivation for his research in the upper atmosphere were measurements of cosmic radiation, which were supposed to give experimental evidence for the theories of Albert Archives Hergé 1 – Tintin PDF, whom Piccard knew from the Solvay conferences and who was a fellow alumnus of ETH.
The story of their adventure surpasses fiction. During the ascent, the aluminum ball began to leak. They plugged it desperately with vaseline and cotton waste, stopping the leak. In the first half hour, the balloon shot upward nine miles. It seemed a flat disk with upturned edge.
At the ten mile level the sky appeared a deep, dark blue. In the mid-1930s, Piccard’s interests shifted when he realized that a modification of his high-altitude balloon cockpit would allow descent into the deep ocean. By 1937, he had designed the bathyscaphe, a small steel gondola built to withstand great external pressure. Construction began, but was interrupted by the outbreak of World War II. He died on 24 March 1962 of a heart attack at his home in Lausanne, Switzerland, he was 78 years old.
Auguste Piccard was the inspiration for Professor Cuthbert Calculus in The Adventures of Tintin by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. Piccard held a teaching appointment in Brussels where Hergé spotted his unmistakable figure in the street. This connection was confirmed by Hergé in an interview with Numa Sadoul. Calculus is a reduced scale Piccard, as the real chap was very tall. He had an interminable neck that sprouted from a collar that was much too large I made Calculus a mini-Piccard, otherwise I would have had to enlarge the frames of the cartoon strip. Will Gregory’s opera, Piccard in Space, premiered at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London on 31 March 2011.
In 2016 the exploits of Piccard and his son Jacques were featured in a US television commercial for Hennessy cognac. Explorer of the stratosphere, the first man to witness the curvature of the earth, he paved the way for modern aviation access-« . Auguste Piccard Is Dead at 78. Ten Miles High in an Air-Tight Ball ». Erich Tilgenkamp – Reisen in ungewöhnliche Räume – Eine autorisierte Biographie – Verlag neues Leben Berlin 1956.