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Lewis and Ross after their historic featThe Lewis-Ross Flight

On July 26-27, 1958, two men set a balloon flight endurance record of 34 hours 29 minutes.

Commander Malcolm Ross and retired Commander Morton Lee Lewis ascended in a U.S. Navy balloon from Crosby, Minnesota, to a height of 82,000 feet and returned to earth 40 miles northwest of Jamestown, North Dakota. The flight set an endurance record for flights into the stratosphere, but not for altitude. It also set a gross weight flight record for plastic balloons of 5,500 pounds.

The aluminum gondola that carried the men was sealed in flight, and a sea level atmospheric pressure was maintained inside. To test high-altitude cosmic rays and extreme temperatures, 10,000 insects were carried, some inside the gondola and others outside.

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This page was last updated on June 09, 2016.

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