Sunday, November 02, 2008

Farewell to explorer Jacques Piccard

Swiss deep sea explorer and inventor Jacques Piccard, one of the only two men ever to descend to the deepest point of the oceans, has died at 86. He and Don Walsh went down almost 11km in the bathyscaphe Trieste in 1960, and no human has ever repeated that feat.
The son of a father who set balloon altitude records in the 1930s, Piccard raised a son, Bertand, who is carrying on his adventuresome spirit in areas like aviation. Piccard introduced thousands to the underwater environment by developing a tourist-carrying submarine that operated for decades. He made major contributions to ocean conservation and protection.
Piccard's family was honored by Gene Roddenberry when he chose the name for Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the U.S.S. Enterprise on the TV program Star Trek: The Next Generation. It was mentioned on the show that Picard's ancestry included famous explorers.

Goodbye to a great man.

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