Long before NASA or any space agency ever existed. A scientist August Piccard a close advisor to Einstein reached 15,781 meters (51,775 feet) into the stratosphere. Characters of comics like Professor Calculus of Tin Tin was inspired by him. Star Trek decided to give his last name to its lead character who is out in space to explore. Followed by his son Jacques Piccard who later in 1960 reached the bottom of the ocean at 35,800 feet. Most of the members of his family were researchers and explorers.
In one of the most adventurous book ever written ‘In Balloon and Bathyscaphe’. Auguste Piccard wrote stories about his experience in building High Flying Balloons and Bathyscaphe (Deep Boats). Professor Auguste and his son, Jacques designed the deepest living submersible called Trieste 1. An important motivation for his research in the upper atmosphere were measurements of cosmic radiation. His experiments were supposed to give Einstein evidence for his theories.
On August 18th 1932, Auguste Piccard and Paul Kipfer his associate took from Dübendorf, Germany and reached 23,000 meters (75,459 feet). Piccard was able to gather substantial amount of evidence on cosmic rays in the upper atmosphere.
Nearly 28 years later, Jacques Piccard son of Auguste Piccard along with Lt.Don Walsh reached Mariana Trench in the western North Pacific Ocean. The descent took almost five hours. The Bathyscaphe carried no scientific equipment and no experiments were conducted. The Purpose of the mission was merely to prove that the depth could be reached. The descent progressed without incident until 30,000 feet. Due to the crack in the windows reached “snuff-colored ooze” at 35,800 feet. Described as the featureless seabed, they saw a flat fish as well as a new type of shrimp. Biologists later disputed this but only recently through scientific equipment he is turned out to be right.
Hennessy US devoted a commercial upon the father and son duo. One of the best commercials ever made.
Currently explorer and film maker James Cameron went deepest 35,756 feet in the Mariana Trench. It is found that the observations made by Jacques Piccard were hundred percent accurate. We salute the father and son duo for not only building machines which survives in the two most extreme situations but also going through the threshold of humanity in those times.