Balloon crew aiming to break records at last launches



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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An international team aiming to break two major ballooning records has finally launched a helium-filled balloon after experiencing delays earlier this month.

Pilots Troy Bradley of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Leonid Tiukhtyaev of Russia set off from Saga, Japan, on shortly before 6:30 a.m. Sunday Japan time.

Unfavorable weather changes scuttled two previous launch attempts more than a week ago.

The pilots are looking to reach North America, an attempt that will put them on course to break a distance record of 5,208 miles.

They also want to break the flight-duration record set in 1978 when Ben Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson and Larry Newman made the first trans-Atlantic balloon flight.

The team's mission control is in Albuquerque.

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The Associated Press

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