"Explorer II" Motion Picture Film

Summary
Collection ID:
NASM.2018.0071
Creators:
U.S. Army Air Corps
Dates:
1935
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
0.17 Cubic feet
2 reels
Repository:
Launched on November 11, 1935, from the Stratobowl near Rapid City, South Dakota, "Explorer II" carried Captain Albert Stevens, Captain Orvil Anderson, and an assortment of instruments to a world record altitude of 22,066 kilometers (72,395 feet). This collection consists of two reels of 16mm silent motion picture film relating to "Explorer II."

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection consists of two reels of 16mm silent motion picture film relating to "Explorer II." The two reels comprise one film entitled
Man's Farthest Aloft
that was produced by the US Army Air Corps in 1935. The film includes various views of the "Explorer II" gondola and balloon (including inflation); scenes at the Stratobowl near Rapid City, South Dakota; and views of "Explorer II" in flight and landing. Albert William Stevens and Orvil A. Anderson are both seen in the footage, and they can be seen receiving the Hubbard Medal (National Geographic Society) from John J. Pershing at the end of the film.

Arrangement
Arrangement
Collection is in original order.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Launched on November 11, 1935, from the Stratobowl near Rapid City, South Dakota, "Explorer II" carried Captain Albert Stevens, Captain Orvil Anderson, and an assortment of instruments to a world record altitude of 22,066 kilometers (72,395 feet). The venture was funded jointly by the United States Army Air Corps and the National Geographic Society. The first world altitude-record attempt, in 1934 in "Explorer I," ended unsuccessfully when the balloon ripped and the hydrogen inside mixed with air and exploded. "Explorer II" was redesigned with wider portholes and a larger balloon which was filled with helium. The crew was also reduced from three to two and the scientific payload was halved. The record-setting "Explorer II" flight was a success in numerous ways such as aerial photography, including the first photographs showing the division between the troposphere and the stratosphere and the actual curvature of the earth from the record altitude; demonstrating the potential of high-altitude, long-range reconnaissance from manned balloons; and collecting data for studies in cosmic ray research, the ozone layer, aeronomy, meteorology, biology, and radio propagation in the high atmosphere. The flight was also a public relations success for the Army and the National Geographic Society, and was a successful venture between government, military, and civilian scientific interests.

Administration
Processing Information
Arranged and described (2018) and encoded (2020) by Jessamyn Lloyd.
Author
Jessamyn Lloyd
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Lee Anne Willson, Gift, 2018, NASM.2018.0071

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Conditions Governing Access
No restrictions on access
Preferred Citation
"Explorer II" Motion Picture Film, NASM.2018.0071, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Aeronautics Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Explorer II (Balloon) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Moving images Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Air and Space Museum Archives
14390 Air & Space Museum Parkway
Chantilly, VA 20151
NASMRefDesk@si.edu
http://airandspace.si.edu/research/resources/archives/