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Born in Lausanne, Vaud canton, Bertrand Piccard, along with Brian Jones, was the first to complete a non-stop balloon flight around the globe. His grandfather Auguste Piccard was a balloonist and his father, Jacques Piccard an undersea explorer.
Growing up in a ballooning and undersea-exploring family, Bertrand was always fascinated with flight. As a child, he was taken to the launch of several space flights from Cape Canaveral. He became a hang-glider pilot and developed an interest in ultra-light motorized flight, as well as the gas balloons his grandfather had set records in.
Bertrand Piccard received a degree from the University of Lausanne in psychiatry. He is a lecturer and supervisor at the Swiss Medical Society for Hypnosis (SMSH).
On 1 March 1999 Piccard and Brian Jones set off in the balloon Breitling Orbiter 3 from Château d'Oex in Switzerland on the first non-stop balloon circumnavigation of the globe. They landed in Egypt after a 45,755 km (28,431 mi) flight lasting 19 days, 21 hours and 47 minutes. In recognition of this accomplishment, he received awards including the Harmon Trophy, the FAI Gold Air Medal and the Charles Green Salver.
In 2003, he announced a project, in cooperation with the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), for a solar-powered, long-range, glider named Solar Impulse. Piccard began construction in 2007, and conducted short test flights in 2008 with André Borschberg. He had financial and technical backing from several European firms, so the Solar Impulse is a European craft, not a Swiss one, despite scientific support from the EPFL.[opinion] In 2010, the Solar Impulse made its first night flight. In 2011, it landed at Bourget Field in Paris. In 2012, it made its first intercontinental flight from Morocco to Switzerland.
Originally conceived as a one-seater, the design of Solar Impulse was altered to allow two passengers. The first intercontinental flight was made by Piccard and Borschberg together.
He is known for his flamboyant declarations, using expressions such as "The Invisible Hand" (la Main Invisible):[clarification needed]
- "I went in search of new ideas blowing in the wind, to try and live better on Earth in my roles as doctor and human being."
- "Consciousness is perceiving one's soul."
- "Welcome to those who believe in the power of dreams and who would like to join me in my exploration of life."
The Piccard family 
- Auguste Piccard (physicist, aeronaut, balloonist, hydronaut)
- Jacques Piccard (hydronaut)
- Bertrand Piccard (aeronaut, balloonist)
- Jacques Piccard (hydronaut)
- Jean Félix Piccard (organic chemist, aeronaut, and balloonist)
- “The Greatest Adventure” (Headline, London) 1999 [ISBN 0-7472-7128-3] or “Around the world in 20 Days” (same content published by Wiley, New York) 1999 [ISBN 0-471-37820-8]
See also 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Bertrand Piccard|
- Bertrand Piccard's Web site
- Bertrand Piccard's CV
- Article in Popular Mechanics
- Solar Impulse Web site
- Speech by Bertrand Piccard on TED Website
- 1/24/2010 AFP well-written cool story with lots of quotes