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Hot Air Balloon Ride Over The Arctic

April 11, 2010 — A 63 year old French explorer has become the first person to fly solo across the Arctic in a hot air balloon.

Jean-Louis Etienne says extreme weather posed a serious problem to his trek. Etienne wanted to land in Alaska but unexpected weather changed his course and forced him to land in Bagatai, Russia.

This voyage is the last part of a three leg adventure Etienne has taken to the North Pole. In 1986, he became the first solo person to cross the Arctic on foot. His second voyage went by boat.

The French explorer flew 3130 kilometres over the Arctic circle and encountered challenging snowstorms along the way.

The French doctor started his balloon journey on April 5th in Spitsbergen, Norway. While aloft, he made several scientific atmospheric tests.

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