A Montgolfière for 40000 pounds…

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You know by now that I’m very interested in hot-air balloons (or Montgolfière as they were called by reference to their inventors, the Montgolfier brothers who lived during the second half of the 18th century in France). I imagined them roaming around Titan, but as said before, we have to wait and see when that happens. As everyone understands these days, money is hard to come by and a study for a Titan Montgolfière would be rather costly… How much? Probably several millions of Euros. But in 1787, King Louis XVI gave a sum of 40000 English livres (or pounds) to M. de Montgolfier as an advance payment for the construction of a new aerostat (as the attached document from the French archives testifies). What would that mean in today’s money I wonder? And could it bring us closer to flying around Titan????


About Athena Coustenis

Athena Coustenis is a planetologist working at Paris-Meudon Observatory and studying the outer solar system, the giant planets, their satellites and the exoplanets. She is also interested in future space exploration of the external solar system.

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