- Leonardo da Vinci sketched the design for the first parachute in 1485.
- The word “parachute” comes “para”, meaning “against” or “counter” in Ancient Greek, and “chute”, the French word for “fall”.
- June 26, 2000, British balloonist Adrian Nicholas proved da Vinci right. In a parachute built of wood and canvas to the artist’s specifications, Nicholas was hoisted to 10,000 feet (3,000 metres) by a hot-air balloon and then released.
- The modern parachute was invented in the late 18th century by Louis-Sébastien Lenormand in France, who made the first recorded public jump in 1783.
- The highest parachute jump ever made was done by U.S. Air Force Captain Joseph W. Kittinger Jr. on Aug. 16, 1960 over New Mexico.
- The first jump from an aircraft was made more than 200 years later by Captain Albert Berry at St. Louis, USA, on March 1st 1912.
- On 16 August 1960 Joseph Kittinger, in the Excelsior III test jump, set the current world record for the highest parachute jump. He jumped from a balloon at altitude of 101,516 feet (30,942 m) (which was also a manned balloon altitude record at the time).
- Jean Pierre Blanchard (1753-1809) a Frenchman was probably the first person to actually use a parachute for an emergency. In 1785, he dropped a dog in a basket, to which a parachute was attached, from a balloon high in the air.
- According to the Guinness book of records, Eugene Andreev (USSR) holds the official FAI record for the longest free-fall parachute jump (without drogue chute) after falling for 80,380 ft (24,500 m) from an altitude of 83,523 ft (25,457 m) near the city of Saratov, Russia on 1 November 1962.
- A 92-year-old man with artificial knees made it into the record books by becoming the oldest person ever to jump out of an airplane with a parachute.
What is a depressant?
A depressant is a drug that reduces the activity of various body functions. Some depressants such as anesthetics, sedatives, antiepileptics, narcotics analgesics, and some muscle relaxants, slow nervous and muscular activity by acting on the central nervous system. Tranquilizers are depressants that affect only part of the nervous system. They induce relaxation without causing total depression.