January 9, 1996 in Nation/World

Balloonist Begins Bid To Circle Globe

Compiled From Wire Services

A millionaire adventurer floated into clear skies over South Dakota on Monday, hoping - with the help of e-mail weather reports - to become the first balloonist to fly nonstop around the globe.

“We’re going to have a good go at it,” Steve Fossett told a crowd before his yellow Solo Challenger lifted off at dawn near Rapid City in the Black Hills.

Three balloons - American, British and Dutch - are competing to become the first to fly nonstop around the world. Fossett is flying solo; the other balloons have three-member crews.

Fossett was the first to take off for the trip, which could take 21 days.

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