The scientific tourist #105 — the Double Eagle V

This week’s touristy science image comes to you from the Albuquerque International Balloon Museum — it’s the Double Eagle V gondola:

The Double Eagle V was the first (crewed) balloon to cross the Pacific Ocean. In November of 1981, the Double Eagle V and its crew (Ben Abruzzo, Larry Newman, Ron Clark, and Rocky Aoki) flew from Nagashima, Japan to the coast of northern California. They covered a record 5,768 miles (9,283 km) in 84 hours and 31 minutes. The balloon and gondola cost $1.25 million (in 1981 currency), and barely made it to their destination, as the balloon wound up getting coated with nearly 2,000 pounds of ice.

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