MCM: The Montgolfier Brothers
Some of the first sky explorations took place as far back as the 1780s, though they weren’t with planes. The Montgolfier Brothers were the pioneers of the hot air balloon, who conducted the first untethered flights. Joseph-Michel and Jacques- Étienne were born in France, the sons of a paper factory owner. The factory helped lead them to their discovery that heated air would cause a large lightweight paper or fabric bag to rise in the air. Starting their discovery by raising just a balloon, they advanced a few months later on September 19, 1783 by sending a sheep, rooster, and duck into the air. The animal passengers stayed up in their balloon for 8 minutes landing 2 miles from the launch site. Then on November 21, 1783, the first untethered flight took place in a balloon that sailed over Paris for 5.5 miles in 25 minutes. Without the curiosity and heart of these early explorers, the sky would have taken another century to reach.