view this event again here. (Mind you, they wrongly refer to him as a “Belgian professor” – he was a Swiss professor in Brussels.) On this trip he would ascend to an altitude of ten and a half miles. Ultimately, his highest ascent of all reached an incredible 23,000 meters – that’s over twice the altitude of a commercial intercontinental flight today.
The Belgian cartoonist Herge was inspired by Piccard’s exploits and based his character Professor Calculus, the archetypical absent minded mad scientist in The Adventures of Tintin, on Piccard, while the Star Trek character Jean- Luc Picard is also a nod to our Swiss scientist. Now, Piccard is about to be remembered again, this time in opera. Musician and composer Will Gregory has been commissioned by the BBC to compose a work for the BBC orchestra. His opera, “Piccard in Space” will receive its premiere performance on March 31st at London’s South Bank Centre.