In this dramatic narrative, adventurers Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones, the pilots of the Breitling Orbiter 3 balloon, recount their record–breaking, first–ever around–the–world balloon flight in March 1999. During their 30,000–mile voyage, they faced many unexpected challenges and near–disasters, including a harrowing six–and–a–half–day trip across the Pacific when the balloon came dangerously close to plunging into the ocean. Using their logbook and journals, as well as photographs taken on board, Piccard and Jones have brought their marathon flight vividly to life, capturing the emotion of their many moments of high tension, as well as the humor and camaraderie that helped them persevere.
Bertrand Piccard (Lausanne, Switzerland) comes from a family of scientific explorers: his grandfather was the first man to reach the stratosphere in a balloon, while his father dove to the deepest part of the ocean in a bathyscaphe. Brian Jones (Wiltshire, UK) spent thirteen years with England′s Royal Air Force and is now the United Kingdom′s chief flying instructor. He was the flight′s project manager before becoming a pilot of the balloon.