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Auguste Piccard (Jan. 28, 1884, Basel, Switzerland - March 24, 1962, Lausanne), twin brother of Jean Piccard and father of Jacques Piccard.

Piccard, a Swiss physicist is famous for his balloon explorations of the upper stratosphere, as well as his deep sea explorations.

Piccard's father Jules was a professor at the University of Basel. Both Auguste, and his twin brother Jean studied at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich; Auguste in physics, and Jean in organic chemistry and aeronautical engineering. Both would receive doctorates in natural science from this institute.

Piccard remained at the Institute and became interested in the design of balloons and making balloon ascents. When the University of Belgium created a chair for applied physics, Piccard accepted this post. Piccard was interested in studying cosmic rays at high altitudes (above 16 000 m). In 1930 he built a balloon with an airtight cabin that would allow flights to high altitudes. On May 27, 1931, Piccard and Paul Kipfer used this balloon to reach an altitude of 15,781 m (51,762 feet). Later, on 18 August 1932, he made a second record-breaking ascent to 16,940 m (55,563 feet).

Piccard was also fascinated by deep sea exploration. After his successes with high altitude balloon flights, he focussed on the design of small submersible cabins (Bathyscaphes) that would withstand the high pressures encountered at great depth. Similar to his balloon designs, he devised a floating cabin, that would dive using ballast, that could be released for the ascent.

Auguste's son Jacques helped him design the bathyscaphe Trieste, that would eventually dive the record depth in the Marianas Trench.

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