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Presentation of Prof. Piccard's Gondola to the Science Museum


    ON June 12, the gondola of the balloon in which Prof. A. Piccard and M. Max Cosyns ascended into the stratosphere on August 18, 1932, was presented to the Science Museum, South Kensington, by M. Jean Willems, director of the Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique, Brussels. His Excellency the Belgian Ambassador presided, and both Prof. Piccard and M. Cosyns were present. The gondola consists of an air-tight sphere (about 2 metres in diameter) of aluminium alloy, fitted with two man-, holes and several portholes, and equipped with various scientific instruments; it was attached to the hydrogen-filled balloon with which Prof. Piccard made his previous ascent on May 27, 1931. The second ascent, in 1932, was made from Dubendorf Aerodrome, near Zurich, and after a twelve-hour flight, the balloon landed safely in a field at Cavallaro di Monzambano, about ten miles south of Lake Garda. The maximum height reached during the voyage (determined trigonometrically) was 16,940 metres (10J miles). The main objective of the flight was the investigation of cosmic radiations. Observations were made to ascertain the variation of intensity of these rays with height, and the distribution of the radiation in different directions was studied by means of a tubular Geiger counter.

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