National Geographic : 1999 Sep
iamaictemmirwrr 1931 May 27: Fi cc the stratos Protected by t crash ets that doubled as seats, Paul Kipfer, left, d Aug ccardbecome the first to reach the str phe ssurized cabin. On the morning of their ac gsburg, Germany, as they wait for workme heir balloon's ropes, Piccard and Kipfer are su realize they are already aloft. "They had let us nd forgotten to tell us anything about it," Piccar ports in the March 1933 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHI. The t o rise almost ten miles during their flight. "The sky is beautiful up thee-almost black," Piccard writes. "It is bluish puple-a deep violetshade ten times darker th earth, but it still is noquite dark enough to see ars." CLOCKWISEFROMFARLEFT:THEROMANCEOFBALLOONING;CORBIS BETTMANN;© ALBERTBONNIERAND HEARSTENTERPRISES;ARTBYTOM LOVELL;RICHARDH. STEWART;AP/WORLDWIDEPHOTOS 1934 July 28: Close call on Explorer I As the gondola of Explorer I plummets, Maj. William E. Kepner pushes Capt. Albert W. Stevens clear of the hatch, allowing both to parachute to the ground with Capt. Orvil A. Anderson, seen in the background of this paint ing for NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC. Their balloon had ripped after reaching 60,613 feet, or 11 miles.