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ICO Global Challenger balloon team lands near Hawaii



Better luck next time I guess.  It seems like a hundred factors
have to coincide just right for this around-the-world dream to
come true.  Unlimited money isn't enough.
 
The following landing account excerpt from http://www.cnn.com
 
See also the ICO Global Challenger website at
http://www.icoglobal.com
 
Hank
SkyQuest (New England balloon project)
 
   http://www.geocities.com/capecanaveral/3161/hablic.htm
                                               ^
HABLIC: "All balloon launches, all the time" __|
----------------------------------------------------------------
 
 "In the end, a weather problem is what stopped us, but that is the
 nature of ballooning," project director Mike Kendrick said.
 
 Balloon pilots cannot steer or control their speeds with precision,
 relying instead on extremely fast, high-altitude winds to carry them
 around the globe.  They navigate by changing the lift of the balloon
 to ascend or descend into different wind systems.
 
 The adventurers' balloon got sucked into a low pressure system
 overnight in the Pacific.  They had been moving the craft up and
 down between 6,000 feet (1,829 meters) and 27,000 feet (8,230 meters)
 to find a fast enough easterly wind to carry them to America's West
 Coast.
 
 They had picked up an easterly wind, but at 14 knots, or 16 mph (26
 km/h), it was not enough.  There was no chance of any stronger winds
 soon, Kendrick said, and they would have been stuck in the depression
 for a week.
 
 "In the middle of the night we decided it was a hopeless situation,"
 said Steve Fossett.  "We decided to fly as close as we could to
 Hawaii to make it an easy rescue."
 
 If the balloonists had made the West Coast, they would have broken
 the balloon distance record that Fossett set on an attempt to
 circumnavigate the globe earlier this year.  He was forced to
 ditch then, too, in the shark-infested waters of the Pacific.
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