Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier
- Year of Death: 1785
- Experiment: Double-Balloon Test
- Cause of Death: Likely Blunt-Forced Trauma From High Fall
The legend of Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier is very well known, most likely due to being quite the showman. He loved to capture the public’s attention. He’s also the first man to ever ascend in a hot air balloon. Which he did along with Marquis d’Arlandes. Drawn toward chemistry and experimental physics in school, he actually invented the breathing apparatus that is the basis for SCUBA gear today. The same equipment is used for hazard workers and partially for astronauts too.
Rozier’s theatrics caused him to take liberties and put himself in dangerous situations when displaying his inventions or doing lectures. This cost him one day as he attempted to “one-up” Jean-Pierre Blanchard, the first man to cross the English Channel. Rozier designed a new type of “double-balloon” with a hot air balloon underneath a hydrogen balloon. On July 15, 1785, he tried out his invention and died as he fell to Earth. It is widely assumed the heat along with hydrogen caused a fire and Rozier simply decided to jump out.