AP News

25 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

AP NewsALBUQUERQUE, N.M. ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An international team aiming to break two major ballooning records has finally launched a helium-filled balloon after experiencing delays earlier this month.

Pilots Troy Bradley of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Leonid Tiukhtyaev of Russia set off from Saga, Japan, shortly before six:30 a.m. neighborhood time. They also want to break the flight-duration record set in 1978 when Ben Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson and Larry Newman made the first trans-Atlantic balloon flight. That record of 137 hours in the air in a traditional gas balloon is considered the holy grail of ballooning achievements. “That’s going to keep us on the edge of our seats for this mission,” Hill said after watching the launch at the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum. Bradley and Tiukhtyaev’s balloon — dubbed Two Eagles — is outfitted with a high-tech navigation system, basic necessities such as a first-aid kit, and equipment to communicate with the command center. In addition to the record attempts, the flight is being monitored by researchers at Arizona State University who are studying the effects of fatigue on cognitive ability.

Once the hatch is closed and the pilots are inside, it’s much like a video game, monitoring the GPS and other systems for updates on weather conditions, speed and altitude, Bradley told The Associated Press in October.

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