1931 - A Stratospheric Achievement

Swiss scientist Auguste Piccard was the first to achieve a manned flight to the stratosphere in an air-tight metal cabin suspended from a specially designed hydrogen balloon. He reached a height of 51,793 feet, setting a new altitude record. Over the next couple of years, altitude records continued to be set and broken every couple of months - the race was on to see who could be the world's most fearless balloonist.

Auguste Piccard balloon