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Last Updated: Monday, 12 May, 2003, 11:24 GMT 12:24 UK
New balloon bid for explorer
David Hempleman-Adams
Hempleman Adams has his sights set on a new world record

Adventurer David Hempleman-Adams has announced he will make a second attempt at crossing the Atlantic by balloon next month.

The 46-year-old explorer tried to complete the voyage in September 2002 but his onboard autopilot system failed and he was forced to land in Connecticut.

He will face temperatures of -30C in an open wicker basket on the flight, The Atlantic Challenge 2003.

"I wanted to have a second attempt at this record - last year we had technical problems - I am confident this year we have every chance to succeed," said Mr Hempleman-Adams.

If successful, the voyage will break the solo world distance record for the AM-08 Roziere class of balloon - one which uses a combination of helium and hot air.

Mr Hempleman Adams will use the voyage to highlight the Special Olympics World Games.

Hot air balloon over factory in USA
The new attempt will take off from Pittsburgh

Mary Davis, chief executive officer, 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games said: "The challenge portrays everything Special Olympics World Games stand for - being brave and courageous in attempting to win or excel at something.

"We wish David and the team every success in beating the world record and in doing so we are sure they will put special olympics on the map in an exciting and innovative way."

The Atlantic Challenge 2003 will launch from Pittsburgh, USA, at the beginning of June depending on the weather conditions.

Once airborne, Mr Hempleman-Adams will head for Newfoundland, keeping in constant communication with flight control centre at Bank of Ireland offices in Bristol.

The balloon voyage over the Atlantic is expected to take about a week.

During this time Mr Hempleman-Adams will have to cope with sleep deprivation, high altitude, temperatures well below freezing and treacherous Atlantic weather conditions.

A decision about where he will land in Europe will be dependent on wind conditions.

Trekker reaches Geomagnetic pole
07 Apr 03  |  Wiltshire
Atlantic balloon flight abandoned
25 Sep 02  |  England

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