Breitling Orbiter 3 Gondola

Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones guided the balloon Breitling Orbiter 3 up and away from the Swiss Alpine village of Chateau d'Oex at 8:05, GMT, 1 March 1999. They landed in the Egyptian desert 19 days, 21 hours and 55 minutes later (21 March 1999), having traveled a distance of over 29,000 miles and completed the first non-stop flight around the world with a free balloon.

The success of Breitling Orbiter 3 was based on the lessons learned during two previous attempts to fly around the globe in 1997 (Breitling Orbiter) and 1998 (Breitling Orbiter 2). That experience enabled the Breitling team to develop trustworthy technical systems and a basic strategy that called for Piccard and Jones to pilot their balloon to altitudes of over 30,000 feet, where jet stream winds would drive it across the Pacific at speeds of over 100 miles per hour.
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