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tHe HoT aIr BaLLOoN tHaT eNtErEd SpAcE



Once there existed an era when there were only hot air balloons to fly in air. Airplanes had not been invented at that time. People only flew only hot air balloon if they wanted to fly in air.


But there was one boy whose name was Nick and he wanted to go to space and see for himself. At that time rockets had not been invented so it was impossible to enter space with only hot air balloons.


People might think that a person can go into space just by hot air balloon too if they keep the cylinders in the hot air balloon that makes the air in the hot air balloon hot burning but that’s not true. Hot air balloons work on the principle of air pressure and density difference amongst the air mass in the hot air balloon and outside air. So as the air in the hot air balloon becomes hot it becomes less dense and less heavy and due to air buoyancy is lifted up. But that lifting up is to a certain point, after that if you keep on going higher the air inside the hot air balloon becomes so full of pressure that it will burst and the hot air balloon will fall down. Thus there is a limit up to which a hot air balloon can ascend too. The hot air balloon barely crosses the stratosphere and going beyond that is pretty impossible for hot air balloon, only a rocket could do that.


Nick grew up with a thought of entering space but did not know how. At that time there was a concept of space that it does not have air and if a body enters space would burst because of high internal body pressure but no outside pressure. 


Nick realized that to enter space he has to go through atmosphere’s air first as a point of crossing. So he started to learn to fly hot air balloon. While learning to fly hot air balloon he learnt that there was a limit to which a hot air ballon could fly to and come back because of the air pressure  differences involved in it. He was always excited to fly hot air balloon. He studied hard and cleared all the papers required to pass the hot air balloon pilot exam and finally got hot air balloon licence. He was happy to get the hot air balloon pilot’s licence and felt lucky that day. Now, he could own his own hot air balloon or fly other’s hot air balloon without an instructor which always made him feel happy. His dream of going to space, finally started making some progress. 


He thought of buying a hot air balloon for himself but for that he had to earn some money. So he worked full time at a hot air balloon manufacturing shop and studied those gaseous cylinders that emitted hot gases to make the air in the hot air balloon hot. While studying those hot air balloon cylinders he realized that going in space also demanded a support of his body blood pressure and at that altitude since there is no atmosphere there was also requirement of oxygen for breathing purposes. He thought about for a few days and decided that to support the body pressure and its functions he needed a pressurized suit that he called a space suite. The space suit should be fully closed and insulated so that nothing leaks from it. So he went to a shop and bought a thick nylon-cotton cloth and took it to his home. He measured the cloth and started cutting it to his size. He made three layers of the cloth and stitched them and insulated them. He then got a glass chamber big enough to fit his head. He then attached the glass chamber/helmet to the sewed three layer suit. To make it completely sealed after wearing it he attached a system through which air does not leak out. Now he had to attach oxygen cylinders along with it so that he can breath inside the space suit. It was then time to wear it and try its effectiveness. To do that he went to a nearby pond and took the suit along with it. He wore the suit, turned the oxygen cylinders on and jumped into the pond. When he was inside the pond he realized that the oxygen supply was good and there was no water coming inside the suit. To double check it’s seal when he came out he put his hand all over inside the suit and realized that it was dry therefore the suit was good to go and test in space.


How to enter space was the next question. While working in the hot air balloon shop he also had studied that the cylinders that heat up the air not only do that but also exert a pressure when are fired up. So he saw that more the pressure was exerted down the more the pressure was caused upwards which was according to Newtons third law of motion that to every action there is equal and opposite reaction. To check that once he tilted the cylinder’s exhaust downwards, when he did that the cylinder moved upwards with a great force which made him decide that he will use this system to go in space. He also noticed that the cylinder got depleted very soon when kept on maximum burning power so he had to use more cylinders for his flight towards space.


Now that was also the day when he had earned money to buy a hot air balloon and some he saved extra for a rainy day.


Next day he came to the shop and bought a hot air balloon and fifty cylinders along with it. He then attached one cylinder in the centre of the hot air balloon to heat up the air in hot air balloon in a normal upward exhaust releasing direction and remaining he attached inverted to the sides of the hot air balloon. He then waited for suitable atmospheric conditions to come. On the 5th day he saw that there was no cloud cover and the winds were calm too which was a perfect weather condition for his flight.


He went behind the backyard of his house and got geared up wearing the space suit and sat in the hot air balloon. He then turned on the supply of the one cylinder that was kept in the normal position in hot air balloon and lit it so that hot air balloon starts heating air in it and makes it fly. After an hour or so, hot air balloon started developing lift and rising up in the air. After two hours of flight the hot air balloon reached an altitude of approximately 80,000 feet. He then saw that hot air balloon was not going higher anywhere and this was the time he had been waiting for. At that time he turned the oxygen supply of his suit on and then opened the valves of the inverted cylinders and lit them with his pocket lighter. After doin that he immediately felt so much thrust that he sat tightly on his knees holding the hot air ballon basket. While going up he saw that the hot air balloon which initially caused the whole system to be lifted up to 70,000 feet burst and he was left with nothing but the basket of the hot air balloon being propelled upwards with a tremendous force. After some time he heard a big boom (which was the “sound barrier” breaking noise) and later realized that he was going faster than the escape velocity which is required to overcome the gravity of earth and started floating in space within another 3 hours of his flight. His basket was still thrusting up but then he turned off the supply of hot matter in the cylinders that was causing the thrust. 


After reaching space tears came rolled down his eyes when he saw the earth. It was like nothing he had seen before and also he had accomplished something that nobody could ever accomplish at that time. After spending about 6 hours in space he wanted to go back and tell the people on earth that he went to space, but going back he did not know how to do that because he had never anticipated that to return it will be difficult. At that time he realized that going down would only be possible through the thrusters that brought him up. So by tilting the cylinders to upward thrust causing direction he entered the atmosphere and sometimes turning them upwards and downwards he slowed and speeded up and finally reached the ground of earth. At that time he immediately took off his space suit and jumped on the ground and ran on it. He was never more happy than he was at that time to see the ground as he had escaped death going in and out of space.


He then told this to his friends who never believed but he knew he had been in space and it was his dream come true!

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