First Around the World

For balloonists Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones, the end of one journey marked the beginning of another.

(Carolyn Russo, NASM)


(Courtesy Brian Jones)

When Jones (second from left) and Piccard came to the National Air and Space Museum in 1999, to dedicate the Breitling Orbiter 3 gondola, they met Breitling Snyder, the infant who is their balloon’s namesake. Breitling’s dad Howard (far left) had followed the many attempts at round-the-world balloon flight throughout the 1990s. “I thought it took a special kind of person to submit yourself to winds to make it around the globe,” he says today. He had emailed a congratulations to the pilots and informed them that his daughter was born at the time they were almost overhead. Breitling’s mom Sharon is on the far right.

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