Encyclopedia of the Exquisite covers the first parachute (an umbrella contraption launched in Montpellier, France in 1783) and the first hot-air balloon, the ornate aerostatic machine which took off from Versailles as King Louis XVI watched below.
Now a Brooklyn kid and his dad have launched their own weather balloon in to the upper stratosphere, equipped with a parachute, a camera to record the blackness of space, which was attached to an iphone, which would help them track it.
They could have used a little more pomp for their launch, if you ask me, but the filmic results are beautiful, especially the parachute ride back down. I think the Marquis d’Arlandes (1742-1809), one of history’s first aeronauts, would approve.
Here’s the video:
For more see brooklynspaceprogram.org