British explorer breaks balloon altitude record

The British explorer David Hempleman-Adams has broken the eight-year-old open basket balloon altitude record this morning, when he reached a height of 37,000 feet in the skies above Colorado.

At 07.46 US Mountain Time (USMT), the team's Denver Flight Centre confirmed that the explorer topped 37,000 feet in his Roziere Balloon. In so doing, the explorer braved temperatures of around –60°C.

When temperature and barometer readings have been confirmed by a record observer from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), David Hempleman-Adams could break up to seven records for all balloons in the Roziere category and break the world record set by Per Axel Lindstrand in 1996.

Following several months of planning, the launch took place in Greeley, just north of Denver, Colorado, at 06.31 USMT. Assisted by his technical ground crew and a team of volunteers from UK sponsor Mears Group PLC, David took 1 hour 15 minutes to break the record.

The previous record of 10,859 metres was set by Per Axel Lindstrand in November 1996.

Mr Hempleman-Adams has conquered the North and South Magnetic Poles, become the first Briton to walk solo and unsupported to the South Pole; and walk solo to the North Geographic Pole and scale the highest mountain in each of the seven continents, including Everest.

On 1 June 2000, he became the only pilot to fly a balloon to the North Pole and on September 29 2003, was the first person to fly a balloon solo with an open wicker-basket across the Atlantic from Canada to the UK.


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