Friday, December 5, 2008

First Balloon Flight in India

THE first balloon ascent in India was made at Calcutta on 16th March, 1836 by Mr. Dimitri Robertson, a French Aeronaut. He had successfully made sixteen ascents before in different places in Europe. The first balloon ascent in India took place from Garden Beach Road, Calcutta. Some letters were carried by Mr. Robertson in his balloon flight and conveyed by means of pigeons to the exhibition ground below. Unfortunately, no details are available nor any letter seem to have survived. This balloon was 24 ft in diameter containing 9006 cubic feet of hydrogen gas. The balloon rose well, but before it attained a good height, it was seen returning earthward. The Aeronaut threw the ballast overboard to assist upward course of the balloon, it was all in vain. He however managed to descend safely, but the balloon was ripped to pieces so no more ascents were possible.

A special Balloon flight with mail was arranged to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the event.

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