July 21st, 2015
Jonathan Trappe loves balloons. In fact, the 39-year-old IT manager loves them so much that he’s trusting them with his life as he attempts to become the first person to cross the Atlantic using only a life raft and 370 helium-filled balloons. If that sounds crazy, that’s because it is.
Trappe took off from Caribou, Maine, on Thursday morning and will fly as high as 25,000 feet above the Earth’s surface. Though the colorful setup looks like a real life version of Up, the attempt will be incredibly dangerous: Five people have already died trying to cross the Atlantic in hot air balloons.
But Trappe is uniquely experienced. He’s already successfully crossed the English Channel, as well as the Alps, with a cluster of balloons. He’s broken the record for the longest-ever cluster balloon voyage after spending 16 hours in the air. If anyone is going to accomplish this feat, he’s the most likely candidate.
Trappe launched his helium-powered craft early this morning from Caribou, Maine, and the trip is expected to last three to five more days. Which is exactly three to five days longer than I’d ever want to sit in this contraption.
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