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Solo record set by Arctic balloonist

The Britannic Challenge balloon has successfully landed after a

record-breaking journey, making David Hempleman-Adams the first man to fly

solo from Spitsbergen to the North Pole and back.

In the early hours of Saturday morning, the balloon began its descent over

Spitsbergen. It was a difficult landing, with the balloon dragging

Hempleman-Adams along the ground and the basket filling with water. But

after hitting the ground, the pilot was in good spirits.

Hempleman-Adams achieved his ambitions by flying the balloon from

Longyearbyen to the North Pole Ring at 89 degrees north. He then went on to

exceed all expectations by flying a further 47 miles, getting to within a

quarter of a degree of true north.

The Britannic Challenge began on May 28 when Hempleman-Adams took off from

Longyearbyen. During his trip, he covered 1,523 miles.

Hempleman-Adams says: “This is the greatest and most dangerous challenge

in over 25 years of risk-taking.”

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