Up, Up and Away Fall registration opens at the YMCA

RE/MAX air balloon rides & YMCA Open House take place Tuesday and Wednesday

On Tuesday, August 30th and Wednesday, August 31st, the YMCA of North Bay and RE/MAX Legend Real Estate will partner to host a special two-day fall registration event at the YMCA that will feature an Open House, community BBQ and rides on the famous RE/MAX Hot Air Balloon.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016 – Road Hockey Registration Day – will see the YMCA welcome community members to soar above the city with RE/MAX Hot Air Balloon rides*, taking off in the evening from 5:00 pm onward. During the day, YMCA staff will be on hand to register teams for the upcoming YMCA Road Hockey Fall Classic, the largest tournament of its kind in the city’s history. Community members who are interested in playing in the Road Hockey Fall Classic but cannot attend the event are encouraged to visit www.ymcaroadhockey.com to sign up or call Membership Services at 705-497-9622.
Wednesday, August 31, 2016 – YMCA Open House Day – will see RE/MAX Hot Air Balloon rides* continue in the morning from 8:30 am onward. The community is welcome to take in all the YMCA has to offer as the facility is free to use throughout the day. In the evening, from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm, a special YMCA Open House will run, featuring a community BBQ, guided tours, demonstrations and fun activities for all the whole family.
* In lieu of admission for RE/MAX Hot Air Balloon rides, patrons are encouraged to donate to the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign, an annual fundraiser which helps provide access to health, fitness and aquatics programs for families, children and vulnerable youth in the region.
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9 Places to Ride Hot Air Balloons

Today is National Ride the Wind Day and every year there are hundreds of balloon festivals around the world that celebrate taking flight.

The Adirondack Balloon Festival: takes place at the end of September at Crandall Park in Queensbury, New York and is free of charge for those who attend the festival, which is now in its 40th year. Today, more than 150,000 people attend the three-day event to see more than 100 balloons take off. There are also music performances and craft fairs, food vendors, bounce houses and so much more.
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta: takes place from Oct. 1 - 9 at Balloon Fiesta Park. This Fiesta has grown from 13 balloons in 1972 to 700 balloons today and 1,000 pilots and is considered the largest balloon festival in the world. If you attend this incredible event, you can enjoy such activities as Balloon Glow, Night Magic Glow, and the Special Shape Rodeo and Special Shape Glowdeo where more than 100 uniquely shaped balloons participate.
The Owl-O-Ween Hot Air Balloon Festival: For two days in October, the Kennesaw State University Sports and Entertainment Park in Kennesaw, Georgia turns into a balloon spectacular. Events include Amazing Balloon Glows, trick-or-treating, tethered balloon rides, an Oktoberfest celebration, live music, food vendors, a free interactive kid’s area, five entertainment stages, and more.
Tamilnadu International Balloon Festival: Pollachi, India is the location of the 2017 Tamilnadu International Balloon Festival, a five-day festival from Jan. 10 – 15. The festival includes up to 20 balloons from various nations and shapes.  The festival will also include a concert, cultural shows, coloring contest, food and more.
Poteau Balloon Fest: It’s all about the balloons in Oklahoma as the baskets ascend for everyone to see. The event takes place on Oct. 14 and 15 and includes additional attractions such Helicopter Rides, Mean Machine Monster Truck Rides, Tethered Balloon Rides, Carnival Rides, and the Saturday Night LJ Jenkins Bull Riding Event.
Annual Taos Mountain Balloon Rally: Another rally that takes place at the end of October, this three-day New Mexico event typically hosts 35-50 balloons and crew each year.
South Texas Balloon Festival: Hot air balloons, carnival rides, food, arts and crafts, entertainment, at this Second Annual Balloon Festival in Nov. 3 – 6. There are tethered flights and piloted excursions available.
Hudson Valley Hot Air Balloon Festival: You missed it this year, but write a save-the-date for next July because this festival is a ton of fun and includes a lot of hot air balloons. Situated right in the Hudson Valley at Barton Orchards, it also includes rides for the kids, food, pick-your-own, music and more.
The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta: Europe’s largest annual meeting of hot air balloons, this event took place two weeks ago over four days in Bristol at the Ashton Court Estate. Definitely pencil it in for next year. This completely free event is worth the trip and includes fairground rides and entertainment.
For more information on balloon festivals around the world,

visit http://www.hotairballoon.com.
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Grayslake brings back Color Aloft Balloon Festival

Grayslake brings back Color Aloft Balloon Festival 

Balloons are launched from Grayslake's Central Park during a previous Color Aloft Balloon Festival. This year's festival will be from 4-9 p.m. Aug. 27
The main attraction of the event is an array of hot air balloons, which will be inflated in the park and launched to compete to see which balloon can land closest to a target. After dark, the balloons will be illuminated.

Another highlight will be a Civil War Era baseball game at the north end of the park. The Grayslake Athletics will take on the McHenry County Independents using the wildly different rules of 19th century baseball.
The event will also feature musical entertainment, children's activities, storytelling and business booths.
There will be no food vendors at this event, so guests are invited to bring a picnic and set up in the park to watch the balloons.
For information, visit business.grayslakechamber.com.

Color Aloft
The festival will take place from 4-9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, at Central Park, 250 Library Lane, Grayslake. All times are approximate and weather dependent.

4 p.m. Welcome, introductions

4:10 p.m. Community group activities

4:15 p.m. Old time baseball game

5 p.m. Slam Funk performs

5:30-7 p.m. Balloon launch window opens, balloons depart

6:30-8 p.m. Balloon artist

7:30-8:30 p.m. Balloon night glow

9 p.m. Festival ends


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Uplifting Grayslake fest features hot-air balloons

It rained when it was time for the balloons to take off at last year's Color Aloft Balloon Festival in Grayslake.
So the balloons got grounded. Still, about 4,000 people came to the festival to see the colorful 55-foot-wide, 70-foot-tall hot air balloons, Karen Christian Smith said.
"There's just something about seeing all those balloons up close. It's impressive," said Smith, executive director of the Grayslake Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the event.
At last year's event, people were able to get into the baskets to experience being in a balloon, although they didn't go up in the air, she said.
Still, she hopes the weather is better this year so people can watch the 10 balloons of varying colors lift to the sky and compete to see which operator can get closest to an object upon landing. After dark, they will return to Central Park and be illuminated, glowing brightly in the park.
The event begins at 4 p.m. with a 19th century baseball game sponsored by the Grayslake Historical Society and run by Grayslake Heritage Museum Center executive director Dave Oberg. A local high school band will perform and other activities for families are scheduled.
Participants should bring lawn chairs, blankets and food or beverages if they'd like, Smith said.
"It will be a picnic atmosphere with no food vendors," she said. "We also encourage people to go out to the local eateries afterward."
Wind Dancer Balloon Promotions, a family-run business out of Waukesha, Wis., will bring the balloons, launch them and then return them to Grayslake to illuminate them at night, Smith said. Participants will not be able to ride in the balloons, but they can get close to them and talk to the owners about what it takes to get them into the air. That's fine with Smith, who said she has a fear of heights. She does enjoy, however, standing close to the balloons and feeling the heat from the fire inside that fuels them.
Free parking is available at Grayslake Central High School, Grayslake Middle School, Grayslake Aquatic Center and Grayslake Library, all within walking distance from Central Park.
Sheryl DeVore is a freelance writer.
Color Aloft Balloon Festival
When: 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday
Where: Central Park, 250 Library Lane, Grayslake
Tickets: Free
Information: 847-223-6888; grayslakechamber.com/
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100-year-old Greenville woman gets hot air balloon ride for her birthday

100-year-old Greenville woman gets hot air balloon ride for her birthday

GREENVILLE, MICH. - A few weeks ago, WZZM profiled a 100-year old man from Shelby, Mich., looking to celebrate hitting the century mark by returning to the cockpit and piloting a plane.
Percy Skinner is his name, and he did it.
It appears there's something about turning 100 years old that's causing people to feel the urge to take flight.
"My grandmother has been saying for several years that one of her life-long dreams was to take a ride in a hot air balloon," Terry Visser said.

Visser's grandmother's is Evelyn Jansma of Grand Rapids. She'll be 101 years old on Oct. 23 of this year.
"I contacted Michigan Balloon Adventures, which is home-based in Mason, Michigan," Visser said. "When I told them the ride was a birthday present for my grandma, who was turning 100, they offered to give her the ride for free."
Evelyn's ride may have happened 10 months after her 100th birthday, but some of the most memorable birthday presents come better late than never.
Evelyn and several close family members and friends, gathered in an open field in Greenville, Mich., last Saturday morning.
"This is something I've looked forward to for a very long time," said Evelyn, before she boarded the balloon's basket. "I'm excited because I got a telephone call from my grandson and he said, 'you want to go for a balloon ride on Saturday?
"And I said, 'Yes I do; yes I do; yes I do.'"
Once the balloon was ready to take off, Evelyn was lifted out of her wheelchair and placed inside the basket of the balloon. There was a seat put inside the basket for her to sit on.
Moments later, captain Tom Burgeon lifted the balloon off the ground, and Evelyn was aloft.
"Her balloon ride lasted about 40 minutes," added Visser, who accompanied her for the ride. "It's just great to be able to give back like this; seeing her face during that ride was priceless.
"It's the ultimate birthday present for her. How many people can say they got a hot air balloon ride at a hundred years old, almost 101?"
Captain Burgeon told Evelyn after the flight that her next free balloon ride will be for her 110th birthday, so she has a little more than 9 years of anticipation.

(© 2016 WZZM)


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5 Ways to Make Hot Air Balloon Flights Safe

5 Ways to Make Hot Air Balloon Flights Safe


An activity that roots all the way back to man's first dream of flight. An endeavour that despite its far beginnings still captivates a lot of enthusiasts in these modern times. Hot air balloon flights are still sought after. By those who want something different from any kind of aviation adventure. Something that everyone can enjoy with the smallest of preparation, zero skill level and less anxiety. It may be easy, simple and an activity within everyone's reach, still as with any outdoor activity there are risks involved. Avoidable ones, given the proper knowledge and safety briefing. Here are five ways to make this activity safe and successful.

1. Advanced research always pays off. Before you even start booking you balloon flight, it doesn't hurt to learn a bit about what they are and how they work. Do a bit of fact finding and read up on some comments of people who have enjoy balloon flights and seek a bit of expert advice from enthusiasts and operators as well. It also pays to do a bit of reference checking on the potential flight providers.

2. Hot air balloon rides are one of the very few activities that has little restrictions on who can ride. Almost anyone can enjoy a scenic hot air balloon flight, even people with physical disabilities. If you are undergoing medical treatment, make sure that you inform you pilot of it. Pregnant participants from six months on are not allowed to ride. Likewise, wheelchairs and oxygen tanks cannot be accommodated on board.

3. One of the prevalent injuries linked to hot air balloon flights is a broken ankle. Flat shoes or better yet running shoes are the most adequate footwear for this activity. Balance is important most especially when landing. You will be taught that the best position when landing is in a tucked position that will have you squat down leaning far back and holding onto a rope. It is advisable that you wear a long sleeved shirt during the flight. You may be positioned in the basket that is near the burner where the heat may be uncomfortable on exposed skin.

4. Never attempt to fly intoxicated or under any substance. This will alter your perception which can pose a very imminent risk to you and the people that you will be sharing the balloon ride with. This activity is full of that adventure high which is absolutely all natural.

5. It's a great idea to have kids enjoy a balloon ride, but one must have the good sense of realizing if they will really enjoy the flight or if it would be better to take them when they are at an age where they can truly appreciate it. Oftentimes, children younger than ten enjoy the first part which is inflation, and ground preparation. This is something new to them and they will be undoubtedly interested. Take off is a marvellous feat as well. But remember that flights usually take an hour or more and five minutes into the flight they may totally loose interest and ask for an early landing. It is a good idea to brief them of what the activity will entail from start to finish and then decide if they are truly up to it.

It's the most basic yet one activity that is full of amazing sights and discoveries. In any chosen endeavour potential risks should always be kept in mind and prepared for. Hot air balloon flights may be a slow paced and relaxed activity, but this characteristic doesn't spare it from possible risks. Being aware, prepared and in the know will be an important factor in eliminating these risks and making this feat as enjoyable as it can get.
Harold Gorton is a lover of hot air ballooning. He is also an experienced writer and enjoys sharing information and tips on hot air ballooning with other like-minded people. Harold Gorton has experienced and tried hot air ballooning all around Australia and recommends anyone interested in hot air balloon rides to give it a go!!
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10 Facts About a Hot Air Balloon You Didn't Know

 10 Facts About a Hot Air Balloon You Didn't Know

By By

How many balloons does it take to fly? The correct answer is one. And I am not talking of holding on for dear life at the end of a balloon on a rope. I am talking about a real balloon with a basket under it. What do you know about a hot air balloon? They look pretty on the pictures of all the balloon races. Brothers Montgolfier sent farm animals on the first ever balloon ride. Interesting isn't it? Here are some more facts about these gentle giants that grace the sky.

1. Hot air balloons were discovered in the Annonay France by brothers Jacques and Etienne Montgolfier. The first passengers on a balloon ride were animals, a sheep, duck and a chicken. The 8 minute flight took place on September 19, 1783. The brothers demonstrated that even at higher elevations, humans are still capable of breathing.

2. The first free flight by humans was on November 21, 1783 by Jean-François Pilatre de Rozier a physics professor and François Laurent d'Arlandes an infantry major. The vessel was a hot air balloon made by the Montgolfier brothers.

3. The longest balloon flight was by the Virgin Pacific Flyer piloted by Per Lindstrand from Sweden and Richard Branson from the UK. They flew from Japan to Northern Canada on January 15, 1991.

4. Balloon pilots are required to have commercial pilots fixed wing license. They must have these qualifications; a minimum of 35 hours of flight instruction, training for basic aviation, pass a written test for balloons and a flight check from federal aviation officials.

5. Balloon flights are not possible during rain. The heat from the balloon can cause rainwater to boil which destroys the balloon fabric.

6. The largest hot air balloon is the Energizer Bunny Hot Hare Balloon measuring 166 feet tall with a foot size of 98EEEE.

7. Milli Karlstrom from the United Kingdom became the youngest qualified female hot air balloon pilot on her 17th birthday in 2010.

8. Piball. This is an instrument that pilots use to see the exact location that wind blows. It is simply a helium filled balloon. This method helps pilots see if the wind may potentially bring the balloon into restricted airspace and dangerous locations.

9. Balloon flights have a chase crew. True to its term, this is a ground crew that follow the balloon's flight all through the entire trip. The chase crew have vehicles with room to accommodate passengers, the pilot and the balloon itself that can weigh over 250 lbs.

10. A champagne toast is a balloonist's tradition. Legends say that historic French pilots always had champagne to calm angry or petrified onlookers at the landing site. Modern times has taken this tradition and is commonly practised on commercial tours.

Ten items is not enough to be in the know about hot air balloon facts. More interesting characteristics and heritage of this simple yet amazing activity will be imparted to you as you take on a flight. It is an absolute feat that transcends the modernization and evolution of aviation with that same heavenly feel of being in the air the old fashioned way.

Harold Gorton is an experienced writer that is also a massive fan of hot air ballooning. He has enjoyed the sport from the moment he learned to hot air balloon through to his many hot air ballooning adventures across Australia. Harold Gorton thinks everyone can participate in hot air ballooning and hopes that more people participate in the sport. If you are interested in hot air ballooning you should find out more today and before you know it you'll be enjoying your very own balloon flights.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Harold_Gorton

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Balloon festival benefits charity

Crowds at the Monroe County Fairgrounds enjoyed a variety of music and homemade foods while balloons filled the sky this weekend during the inaugural Kiwanis Club of South Central Indiana Balloon Festival.

Raising several thousands of dollars through ticket sales, hot air balloon rides and food sales, the proceeds Kiwanis made will be donated to Riley Children’s Hospital, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Bloomington and future Kiwanis service projects, said Vanessa McClary, charter president of the club.

McClary said she teamed with fellow Kiwanis member and Airbus Balloon Rides owner Andy Richardson, and the two organized the event to feature a variety of hot air balloons for participants to spectate and ride. These included hot air balloons that resembled a scarecrow, Rocket Man and a dragon.

“I started this Kiwanis Club about seven years ago,” McClary said. “I’ve just always dreamed of putting on a hot air balloon festival because I love balloons, and I think the community in general loves seeing them, too.”

McClary said planning the festival took a full year, as she worked to organize the fundraiser to be appealing to the community and in line with SCI Kiwanis Club’s other service projects.

The event’s main attraction was the hot air balloon races conducted all three days throughout the weekend.

Richardson said the races were conducted at the most suitable times — in the early morning and late evenings.

“The winds are more stable and easy to predict during these times of the day,” Richardson said. “It makes for a smoother hot air balloon ride.”

In addition, a chili cook-off contest was organized, which McClary said gave contestants the opportunity to show off their culinary skills and donate to the festival’s fundraising cause by paying an entrance fee.

One of the event’s most anticipated features was the Kiwanis Idol singing competition, which required auditions prior to the contest.

People of all ages were invited to participate in the American Idol-based contest, with first place receiving allotted time at local recording studio Stables Studio.

More musical festivities were featured in the evenings on the main stage, where attendees enjoyed the live pop and rock musical performances of national touring artist Marc Broussard and local Bloomington artist Jenn Cristy.

Keeping up with their other yearly events, the club also organized its seventh annual Health & Safety Family FUN! Fair. The fair provided health screenings and education for families in attendance.

After a successful first year, McClary said there are plans to bring the festival back again next year and make the Hot Air Balloon Festival an annual SCI Kiwanis Club event.

“We’re working on next year’s festival date right now, and we’ll know within a week when it will be,” she said.

via idsnews
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Solar-powered plane to make first cross-US flight

Solar-powered plane
An innovativė solar-powered aircraft is sėt to launch Friday from California on a flight across thė United States, thė first of its kind aiming to showcasė what is possiblė without fossil fuėls.
Thė ėxpėrimėntal Solar Impulsė planė -- with thė wingspan of a Boeing 747 but thė wėight of a small car -- bėars 12,000 solar cells.
By day, thė cėlls power thė plane's electric motors whilė also charging batteries, so thė planė, unlikė othėr solar aircraft, can kėėp flying all night.
Thė projėct was launchėd morė than a dėcadė ago, aftėr invėtėratė advėnturėr Bėrtrand Piccard, 54, nėarly ran out of fuėl on his historic non-stop round-thė-world balloon flight.
Thė Swiss psychiatrist dėcidėd to rė-attėmpt thė journėy -- Solar Impulsė aims to launch its flight in 2015 -- without using any fossil fuėl.
But thė goal isn't to rėvolutionizė air travėl, thė group said. Instėad, it aims to fuėl morė innovation for using rėnėwablė rėsourcės morė widėly.
"Bėforė, whėn you wėrė talking about ėxploration, it was morė about conquėring thė world, conquėring tėrritoriės," spokėswoman Alėnka Zibėtto told AFP.
"Now thė rėal advėnturė is to makė thė world morė sustainablė, and to try to find solutions with thė currėntly availablė tėchnologiės -- to usė what wė currėntly havė and adapt it.
"If wė can do this in thė air, wė can also do this on thė ground, in our ėvėryday lifė," Zibėtto said, suggėsting thė plane's solar panėls could bė adaptėd to powėr housės as wėll as solar-chargėd battėriės in cars.
Thė Solar Impulsė planė has alrėady madė sėvėral trips, including a 26-hour flight in 2010, but this will mark its first trip across a continėnt.
Thė Solar-powered plane could makė thė flight nonstop -- it would takė approximatėly thrėė days, travėling at thė aircraft's cruising spėėd of around 43 milės (70 kilomėtėrs) pėr hour, its crėators said.
But with spacė for only onė pilot and thė intėnsivė task of navigating thė ultra-light but ultra-long planė through turbulėncė, Solar Impulsė dėcidėd, for safėty rėasons, to brėak thė flight up into multiplė stagės.
That will allow two pilots -- Piccard and his co-foundėr, Swiss ėnginėėr and ėx-fightėr pilot Andrė Borschbėrg -- to sharė dutiės and rėst bėtwėėn lėgs.
"Wė havė limitėd oursėlvės to fly a duration maximum of 24 hours," Borschbėrg, 60, said at a prėss confėrėncė in March.
Thė Solar-powered plane is schėdulėd to stay ovėr in Phoenix, Dallas and thė US capital Washington, bėforė arriving in Nėw York in ėarly July.
It will spėnd up to 10 days at ėach stop on its journėy in ordėr to showcasė its tėchnology to thė public, schoolchildrėn and studėnts who will also havė a chancė to talk with thė pilots.
"Thė pėoplė will bė ablė to follow thė mission, to spėak to thė pilot, to ask quėstions," Piccard said.
"Wė would likė to inspirė studėnts, schoolchildrėn, inspirė as many pėoplė as possiblė to try to havė thė spirit to darė, to innovatė, to invėnt."
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Captain Joseph W. Kittinger, Jr., USAF

Captain Joseph W. Kittinger, Jr., USAFfor National Geographic magazine
On Tuesday sky diver Felix Baumgartner is set to step out a push, Apollo-like capsule and freefall 23 miles (37 kilometers) from the edge of space the height of the Red Bull Stratos project. Fifty-two years ago, but U.S.

Air Force pilot Joseph Kittinger reached almost the same thing. Duct-taped pack. An open-air gondola.Here, Kittinger offer a personal account of his record-setting skydive, originally published in the November 1960 issue of National Geographic magazine.

 (Note: National Geographic News live video of Felix Baumgartner's jump, followed in November by Space Dive, a National Geographic Channel documentary broadcast)


Overall spread my onion-shaped balloon 200 feet [61 meters] diameter against a black day air. More than 18 1/2 miles [30 kilometers] lies below the clouds hid New Mexico desert that I was about to parachute.Sitting in my gondola, which turned slightly with the balloon's slow turn, I started sweating lightly, but the temperature is 36 ° [-38 ° C] below zero Fahrenheit reading. Sunlight on my burned the edge of an aluminized anti-glare curtain and the gondola's open door.In my earphones crackled the voice of Captain.

 Marvin Feldstein, one of the project's two doctors from the ground control at Holloman Air Force Base: "Three minutes to jump, Joe"I was ready to go for more than one reason. For about an hour the balloon of 50,000 to 102,800 feet [15,200 to 31,000 meters] above sea level rose level I was exposed to an environment that requires the protection of a pressure suit and helmet, and the fear of their failure has Always offer. If either would break, unconsciousness in 10 or 12 seconds, and death within two minutes.

In our altitude chamber flight at the lab, I always knew that if something went wrong, the chamber pressure can return immediately increased my safety. Doctors standing just a few feet away, and look by a patryspoort for any sign of malfunction. 

But here in the eerie silence of the room, I knew that my life depends entirely on my equipment, my own actions, and the presence of God. [See classic photos of Kittinger's skydive.]Aerodynamic, space begins about 120 miles [190 kilometers] of the earth. Physiologically and psychologically, but it started only 12 miles [19 kilometers] up, where survival requires extensive protection against a real space environment. Thanks to my dedicated Project Excelsior team, I have twice before entered this world in an open gondola test jumps to make the 14-mile [23-kilometer] heights. Now I got to 19 1/2 miles [31 kilometers] above sea level, where the physical and spiritual dangers much greater room for a more conclusive test of our survival and parachute escape.

The idea of ​​men reaching toward the room with balloons and parachutes in the age of jet planes and rockets may seem strange. Actually, it's the best kind of makes sense. No powered aircraft can put a man in a space environment and keep him there for a sustained period of time. But the lighter-than-air balloon, human's oldest flight vehicle.Twenty-five years ago last month, two Army Air Corps captains, Albert W. Stevens and Orvil A. Anderson, the balloon Explorer II to the then unprecedented height of 72,395 feet 13.71 miles [22 kilometers]. They pressure gondola and instruments compiled a two-and-a-quarter-ton payload. 

Results of this famous National Geographic Society-US Army Air Corps stratosphere flight is studied by pilots on this day.The need for a high-altitude escape system to understand, look at the fate of a pilot to bail out above 20,000 feet [6,000 meters. He faces two choices, one of which can be fatal. He must open his parachute immediately after bail-out of a speeding craft, he risks death of his hood opening shock, a lack of oxygen, or a bad cold. [See "Supersonic Skydive's five biggest risks: Boiling Blood Deadly Spins and worse"]Flat spin hazard him as he tried to fall free to reduce habitable heights before opening his parachute. 

His body may whirl like a runaway propeller. Flat Spin is a characteristic of a falling object that is aerodynamically unstable. Dummies fall from balloons to 100,000 feet [30,500 meters reached 200 revolutions per minute, while tests show that 140 rpm would be harmful, possibly fatal.The problem was a man quickly down to lower levels to get before opening his parachute, but at the same time to protect him against a flat spin. The answer comes from Francis Beaupre of the Air Force Aviation and Aerospace Medical Division. His organization is part of the Air Research and Development Command's Wright Air Development Division, we project oriented.

 Beau asked him: Why not use a small parachute to stabilize a man during free fall, as a sea anchor steadies a ship? He began to work on the Beaupre stabilization parachute, one of the few major innovations in parachutes since the seat back pack type approval of the army in 1919.Beau's slide consists of 3 units: a conventional spring-type parachute to catch the wind and provide the pull to open the next unit; a 6-foot-wide stabilization chop flat spin occurs during free fall ; and finally a conventional 28 feet [8.5 meters] parachute opened at about 18,000 feet [5500 meters.[See also "Supersonic Skydive's 5 biggest risks: Boiling Blood Deadly Spins and worse"]Parachute opens Too SoonIn October 1959, we had the first with Beaupre parachute jump, jumping from a Lockheed C-130 Hercules at 28,000 feet [8500 meters.

 I did the first jump, M / Sgt. George A. Post, second, and Captain. Harry Collins, the third. The chute worked beautifully, and we feel ready for higher altitudes.But something went wrong on my first bail-out of a balloon, on November 16, 1959. Before I jumped from the gondola at 76,400 feet, the timer lanyard the stabilization unit went early and 6-foot [180 cm] cut and shrouds popped after only two seconds of free fall, instead of 16, quickly grow to me .At first I thought I would start the free spin slow to enfold me, but despite my efforts I whirled faster and faster. Soon I knew there was nothing I could do. I thought it was the end. I began to pray, and then I lost consciousness.I owe my life to my emergency parachute, which automatically open at 10,000 feet [3000 meters]. When I, I swing states under the beautiful canopy of the emergency chute.

 I want to tell you thank a long session with the good Lord right then and there.I knew that Beaupre's ideas sound, despite the results of the first jump, and on December 11 we were ready to prove it. This time I jumped from the gondola at 74,700 feet [23,000 meters], and everything works perfectly.Next comes the big test, Excelsior III, above 100,000 feet [30,500 meters. The date was 16 August 1960. Clear in my mind as I was floating the events of the past few hours.Spring project into high gearWe project started really speed on the eve of the jump. Alerts go out to the launch crew, ground control station, Holloman base weathermen, and all the support units. Approval for the use of the White Sands Missile Range, the 100-by-40-mile [160-by-64-mile test basin, derived from the Army. We need our own crew and pilots of the support aircraft.

Technicians swarm around 4 1/2-foot-wide [140-centimeter-wide gondola. First Lt. Don Fordham and civilian Don Griggs check the electronic control systems. Airman 1 / c Frank Hale, a skydiver, joins Beau test canopies, enclosure, cables, and lanyards. Another veteran jumper, Captain. Billy Mills, cigar chewing assistant project officer, oversees prelaunch check lists of more than 1,000 entries.The gondola's 12 camera-eyes-including one mounted by the National Geographic Society by Ken Arnold and Gene Gallatin. Plastic water bottles and aluminum foil cameras and other equipment to protect against the cold.Progress as a launch-day minus one, I came under the scrutiny of our two project physicians. I did for a week on a high-protein, low-residue diet, and I avoid gas-producing foods. 

Gas expanded with increasing altitude, so the air trapped in my stomach or intestines can cause pain can be so bad that I was forced to jump too early. The diet is mainly meat and potatoes.The doctors also take one last look at ears, nose and throat. Any air pocketed in the body can force me to soon.Work through the afternoon break for most of our team, but our weathermen, Duke Gildenberg and Ralph Reynolds, their most difficult task in the face. They should bring me to the ground in a 11-mile-square [18-kilometer-square target area about 25 miles [40 kilometers] northwest of Holloman.

They should weather conditions predicted for the morning high up as well as on the ground, and decide if surface winds will allow a safe take-off. Check with Holloman base weathermen, they reach a favorable decision and choose an abandoned gravel airstrip 18 miles [29 kilometers from the base as the slip.Forty-five minutes before midnight, a convoy of about 20 vehicles heads northeast through Alamogordo. 

Scary jack rabbits when they turn on the old airfield, vehicles wheel into position amid mesquite and greasewood. Mobile generators started, communication antennas mounted, and the first the hourly pilot balloons, called pibals for short, moved up a wind reading.The gondola, on a flat-bed truck, the hub of activity as it is given a final grooming. About 300 feet [90 meters away, T / Sgt. Melvin D. Johnson ordered the balloon starts crew.Ground Crew Flight monitorHolloman men who ground control station industry began reporting for duty at midnight. 

They will monitor my progress over the radio and radar networks, pulling my position, tell me when to valve and when to ballast, and, finally, the word on when to jump.Ten minutes after I bail out, ground control beam the signal cut the gondola of the balloon, return and its valuable instruments to earth by parachute.At first this method was risky because chances radio signals can also act as a trigger. In 1955, a balloon gondola happy with no human passengers were cut off when a commercial station blared "Tiger Rag."Dave Willard, chief electronics Holloman Balloon Branch, solved the problem. He has developed a a transistorized device that serves, in effect, as a skyborne conclusion that only a special electronic key that is transferred from the ground station will open. 

Can I go now with full assurance that no burst of jazz or rock 'n' roll the flight will be terminated prematurely.I'm the only guy who gets a chance to sleep before a launch. About 01:30 on the afternoon before the flight, Mary Feldstein handed me two sleeping pills and a medical journal, she sure prescription for sleeping.About 07:00 I woke up to a steak dinner. Still sleepy, I rest four hours longer. Beau Beaupre announce: "Captain Joe, time to wake up."It is a tradition that Beau and Ken Arnold drove me to the launch site. 

It is also traditional that we stop for breakfast, this time consisting of orange juice and Strawberry Shortcake. As I finished my meal, I told Beau:"This is certainly a good breakfast and it was nice of you to pay for it."Of course, Beau has not offered to pay, but what he does because it is traditional. I always want to be in debt when I jump.We reached the launch site at 02:00 and find Duke Gildenberg uncomfortable. Clouds moving from Texas complicates weather forecasts.George Post tell my the flight clothes are ready. The Air Force's most experienced test skydiver, he jump since 1943 and carries the Distinguished Flying Cross.

 It is good to know that he will look at every piece of my gear. He, better than anyone else, and I know the stress my equipment will be exposed.Remains an item of business. The previous week, my five-year-old son Mark eat breakfast at our Dayton, Ohio, home when a car license plate printed on his box of cereal. He decided that his father's cable must be properly licensed, so he cut the marker of the box and his mother mail it to me. 

As I see it, is carefully taped to the gondola.The license label is that of the state of Oregon. Project Excelsior group is stationed in Ohio, we started in New Mexico, our team members come from various countries. Indeed, we have a national effort.Oxygen guards against Bend03:00 I am in the trailer that we use as a dressing room. 

Here I started breathing oxygen, and I will not breathe natural air until I at lower altitudes on my descent, about four hours later. It gets most of the nitrogen from my body. With increasing altitude, nitrogen bubbles expand, causing severe pain, and can be a fatal disease known as the bends, divers threatening.As I began breathing oxygen, I relax on a bed before starting to draw. I am deeply aware of the activity around me, and I feel strengthened by the thought of our team's diligence and enthusiasm. Some people may wonder how I can have a degree of calm in the light of the work ahead, enjoy, and I think that the answer lies in a four-point philosophy that I have developed:I have confidence in my team.I have confidence in my equipment.

I have confidence in myself.I have faith in God.Secure on these four points, one can face almost anything. To tell the truth, I was able to doze off for a few minutes at the launch site before me jump in November of 1959.At 3:30 pm, T / Sgt. R. A. Daniels and T / Sgt. Eugene Fritz began to dress me. Outside, we mobile cooler roar to life, and a blast of cold air reduce the locker room temperature to 50 ° F [10 ° C]. The chilled air I keep my sweat on layer after layer of clothing. Sweet would cause problems in the cold realm where I go.Johnny and his crew began to blow the balloon up, the prospect of cancellation occurs. The cloud build-up continues, and Duke Gildenberg ordered a short wait. 

The decision to Maj. Irving Levin, Holloman Balloon Branch chief.At this point, the air conditioner sputters and looks to die. With two possible causes for cancellation, our spirits fall.At 04:30, however, prospects brightened again, and take-off time repairing 5:00 to 5:30. And the air conditioner was coaxed back to life. Everyone cheers.The inflation of a large balloon is a dramatic sight. The big bag looks so lifeless as it lay on the ground frantically. But now it store began skyward as a few giant plant, his crown flourish as a flower. 

When I saw his silhouette in the pale dawn, I know the mission approaching reality.Just before 05:00 I leave the dressing trailer, bent and shuffling figure under 155 pounds [70 kilograms] gear just £ 3 and a half kilograms less than my own weight. Beau Daniels lift my truck with the gondola, that the "highest step in the world."Red Flare Signals WarningI'm still breathing oxygen. The air-conditioner hose, with an eight-inch [20-centimeter] diameter, was moved from the trailer, and his flow over me. Team members final checks: electrical circuits, safety plugs, radios, parachutes, cameras, partial oxygen pressure suit. The helmet over my head down, and suddenly I felt a man apart. [Photos: NASA Space Suit Evolution since the first flight.]A red flare arches across the desert, the announcement of everything rises only 10 minutes away.

 The truck trundles me and the gondola to a spot directly under the balloon towering 360 feet [110 meters] tall as a 33-storey building.Balloon and gondola is connected. And close my face plate, two layers of clear plastic separated by a nearly transparent film of gold by an electric current passes to prevent fogging. The aluminized curtain hung around the gondola above my head to reduce my exposure to solar radiation."Well, I think we're about ready to go," said Virginia drawl of Billy Mills over the intercom."Fire!" Sergeant Johnson break.Explosive squibs that hold the balloon tree fire sharp tap, cut the lines, and the rig is stopped only by ties that connect picking gondola to the truck.

"Fire two!" the final assignment.A round of squibs fires, the cutting of truck tires. 05:29 I'm on the road, rising to 1200 feet [370 meters] a minute.In statistical terms, a 1069-pound [185-kilogram], a helium-filled balloon began a 1250-pound [570-kilogram] payload to lift a launch altitude of 4500 feet [1370 meters] to a maximum altitude of 102,800 feet [31,000 meters. My interest in 158 pounds [72 kilograms] of that payload goes beyond the statistical, however. I argue the maxim known for one or other reason than Murphy's First Law: "What can go wrong, go wrong." And I wonder what could go wrong.43,000 feet [13,100 meters] I find. My right hand does not feel normal. I examine the pressure glove; inflating the air bladder.

The prospect of exposing the hand to the near vacuum of peak altitude causes a concern for me. From my previous experience, I know that the hand will swell, losing most of its circulation, and cause severe pain. But I also know that I can still operate the gondola, since all the controls can be manipulated by the flick of a switch or a failure of the hand.I am well aware of all faith, sweat and ride with me on this mission. 

I decided to stay informed without notifying ground control of my problems.Tropopause Barrier Looms AboveI already approaching the halfway mark in vertical distance, but in terms of the obstacles, I still have far to go. One is the tropopause, an atmospheric boundary where I was the coldest temperatures of the flight will encounter. There the balloon's polyethylene material just two thousandths of an inch thick and of the same filmy material used some frozen food and dry-cleaned clothing will contain almost brittle from the cold. 

Any unnecessary stress can lead to a break. About half of the balloon failures occur at the tropopause.The temperature falls gradually until -94 ° F [-70 ° C]. 50,000 feet [15,200 meters], then begins to rise. I was safely past the tropopause barrier.Driven by the prevailing westerly winds, the balloon drifted 15 miles [24 kilometers] east of the launch site. East winds started me back to the target area, however, as predicted.

 But the clouds, far below my failure to act according to estimation. Instead of culling under the sun's heat, they thicken.Each balloon has a uniform limit, the point where its upward velocity creates a performance that is strong enough to threaten damage. 60,000 feet [18,300 meters], my stairs rate closer 1300 feet [400 meters per minute, only 100 short of the balloon's limit. Gildenberg back at Holloman, monitoring my height and ask me to valve off some helium. I do, and climb slowly to a safe 950 feet per minute [300 meters].

As Marv Feldstein continues to advise me of the ground control, I can sense the tension is growing. Our weathermen have noticed a small hole in the clouds to the west of the target area, and figuring out whether the hole will be enlarged and the balloon floats above it.The device that tracks my pulse and breathing on a paper tape broke, and two beautiful nurses were recruited to the sound cardio-respiratory signal to record. 

In effect, their my wrist by remote control, but I think I prefer the old fashioned way.An hour and 31 minutes after launch, my pressure altimeter up to 103,300 feet [31,500 meters. Ground control radar altimeters also stopped on the readings of 102,800 feet [31,300 meters], the figure that we later agree on more reliable. It's 07:00 in the morning, and I have reached float altitude.Help is too far awayA mixed feeling of awe and isolation is the accumulation of all the stairs, and now it is almost overcame me. I felt awe at the thought of the swing easily at a height that man never reached before without the protection of a sealed cabin.

 I feel isolation because I was out of the reach of friends and help if something goes wrong.I want my impressions of this high describe strange world. Quest for the right words, I send a message to ground control:"There is a hostile sky above me you will never conquer space. He can live, but he will never conquer. Sky above is void and very black and very hostile."I am grateful that the balloon slowly turning, because I had a chance to open the horizon by the gondola by cattle.I take note of the change in the color of the sky: normal blue to about 15 degrees above the horizon, then increasingly dark until it reaches the inky depths of the night around the balloon. 

Such a dark sky without stars seem strange, but I looked in vain to find one.I made an exciting discovery. There are clouds on my height. They are so thin that I see them only when my face within 30 degrees of the sun, but then they reflect light with a dazzling white. I remember reports of clouds high, but the sight of them is fantastic.I turned my gaze to the ground under me. I should be able to make a 780-mile-wide [1255-kilometer-wide circle of the surface cattle, but haze curtains horizon, and a large segment of clouds blot out many of the nearer landscape.

 I easily make out the tower head of a thunderstorm a look again later plots near Flagstaff, Arizona, 350 miles [560 kilometers] wide.Burdened by heavy clothing and equipment, I began to pay the physical toll for my height. Every movement requires a high cost in energy. My eyes smart from the fierce glare of the sun. When this ray in the gondola on my left side, I feel the effects of a strong radiation and start to sweat.

 To my right, mostly in the shade, heat escaping from my clothes a vapor as steam. Circulation has almost stopped in my unpressurized right hand, feeling stiff and sore.After nine minutes on the peak, I began to think of the descent and called ground control for an estimate on jumping.The hole in the clouds failed to enlarge. Meanwhile, a 30-knot wind speed beyond me. Duke decided that I should step out of the target zone, despite the thick blanket covering it. Marv relays the words: "Three minutes to jump, Joe."The words are welcome. Activity comes as a relief to the surge of emotions that I have experienced, despite the huge drop in front of me. Besides, the large drop is the only way to get home.

X-minus 70 seconds, I drop the trailing antenna, cut off communication with the ground. I started my countdown, break my ties with the gondola. My seat kit with instruments and camera take over the functions of the supply of oxygen uptake of my heart and breathing rate, keep records of my altitude and azimuth.I start the cameras in the gondola, and then make me suddenly aware of how quiet my stay in space.I count at zero step in space. No wind whistles or wave my clothes. I have absolutely no sense of the increasing speed with which I fall.I let the faces in the clouds. 

Then I roll on my back and an ominous sight. The balloon contrasting stark white with a sky as black as the night, but it's 07:12 in the morning and I'm bathed in the sun. I look to the stars again, but saw no one.When the 6-foot [180 cm] stabilization hood found out, I had already dropped to about 96,000 feet [29,300 meters. I was delighted to find myself completely anchored against the dreaded flat spin. I turned with ease by sticking out an arm and leg.But a new danger threatens. Shortly after I was stabilized, I feel a choking sensation.

 I experienced the same thing on a previous jump, and we have devoted numerous tests to eliminate. As I plummet lower, relieve the sensation, but do not worry remains.Free fall ends in the blanket of cloudsClouds seconds before motionless and seemed remote, up to my now. I have never entered clouds in a free fall, and I had to convince myself that they are mere vapor and solid earth.21,000 feet [6400 meters] thick blanket enveloped me. About 3500 feet [1000 meters] below, 4 minutes, 38 seconds after my fall appeared, my head cut open.

 I can not see the air or ground, but I know that the worst is over.As I disarm my emergency chute and began to disconnect my seat kit, I escape clouds at 15,000 feet [4600 meters] and behold a beautiful face two helicopters circled carefully. I know that the recovery trucks speed toward my destination site.I leave the seat kit, except for a single line. My swollen right hand does not have the power to make that final tie loose, and I can not reach it with my left hand. 

A thousand feet [300 meters above the desert, I stopped trying. I will be with the heavy box dangling uncomfortable for me to land.The landing was as hard as any I've ever made in my life. The seat kit hit my leg, inflicting a serious breach. But I believe in one piece on the ground. I was surrounded by sand, salt grass and sage, but no Garden of Eden could look nicer. The time elapsed since bail-out is 13 minutes, 45 seconds.The helicopters land, and George Post, Gene Fritz, Beau, and Dr. Dick Chubb look at me, all wearing big smiles. 

They removed my helmet and heavy flight clothes.Dick watching the swollen hand with concern. Three hours later the swelling disappeared with no ill effect.So clean, fresh air wash over me, I said, "I am very happy to be back with you all."Just before jumping, I said a prayer, "Lord, take care of me now." After the main parachute opened I said, "Thank you, Lord, for taking care of me during those long fall."Now that I'm safe, I realized how dependent on the protection of the Almighty are all seekers of the unknown.

Next day we plunged ahead with plans for a leap by George Post, who was to be an exact duplicate of me. First we had to determine the cause of the choking experience that worried me during my descent.We have a "hang," a test that suspended with full equipment and ourselves held by parachute harness from overhead hooks. We found a tentative cause: The steel cable anchored helmet pressure suit seems to be to drive, forcing the helmet and the front of the neck ring at the throat.But there are other possibilities had to be eliminated before we could risk a man's life. Reluctantly we decided to cancel George's lead.Balloons soar high and long 

However, we are convinced that the potential for high-altitude research balloons barely scratched. Consider, for example, that my balloon by no means exhausted his ability to keep me on the peak height. It could have kept me there for hours. Although experimental aircraft took men keep their peaks higher for a few seconds.Consider just one finding of my Excelsior III jump. Doctors now know that, although my heart rate hit 156, a healthy man who is properly equipped can safely spend tremendous energy in space for short periods.Is of the opinion that solar radiation quickly made me sweat, but the temperature at float altitude reading -36 ° F [-38 ° C].

 This experience back evidence that the temperature definitions up into space. You can on the one hand baking, freezing on the other hand, regardless of what the thermometer says.Consider that my gondola stairs and open parachute jump my space conditions exposed more than any other man, without adverse consequences.For the future, I can at least three different categories of manned balloons can play a valuable role in space research.First there astrophysics. The earth's atmosphere, a curtain of diffuse materials, bends light rays, hide all galaxies from view, and makes stars appear to twinkle when they are not. If we have a telescope, an astronomer sitting in a gondola and take him up for a clear view, we will see the heavens with new eyes.

Secondly, the balloon test life-support systems for space. A complete life-sustaining system can be taken, component by component, and actual performance proved.Third, the balloon is a perfect coach for spacemen. If you isolate the men in lab space, the students know that help is just a few feet away. Help in a balloon kilometers above the earth, a long way off, and teaches the pupil she would work with that fact in mind.When I think of the great possibilities of the balloon, I marvel that it is so little used in man's attempt to enter space. I sincerely hope that we will fail to benefit from the high-altitude balloon flight lessons can we learn before we commit a man to the infinite beyond the world we know.
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