Right at the beginning of the Space Race, the US military was trying to find out what sort of cosmic matter we’d be exposed to up there. There were two methods for compiling data. One was from a balloon “train” that consisted of equipment located at intervals along a 260-metre cable exposed to the elements 64 kilometres above the Earth. The other was from a rocket hooked to a balloon that would launch by timing mechanism once at high altitude.
SUN THIS MONTH IN SCIENCE HISTORY
By the time the significance of Tesla’s work was fully recognised, the popular units of measurement had been already named for Volta, Ampere, Faraday and the rest. Given his contributions to the modern alternating current electricity supply in particular, it seems a shame that all the noted Serbian-born futurist got was the unit of magnetic flux. Perhaps looming larger in the public mind for the showy nature of his weird experiments than for his undoubted vision in electrical current and telecommunication, the enigmatic Tesla went out of fashion for a while. Then along came Elon Musk…