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Consider the following facts:

  • On May 4, 1927, Captain Hawthorne Gray (U.S. Army) ascended in a balloon to an altitude of 42,470 feet. He was in the air for 1 hour, 57 minutes.
  • On November 11, 1935, Captains Orvil Anderson and Albert Stevens (U.S. Army) ascended in a balloon to an altitude of 72,394 feet. They was in the air for 8 hour, 13 minutes.
  • On August 19, 1957, Major David Goodman (U.S. Air Force) ascended in a balloon to an altitude of 101,516 feet. He was in the air for more than 26 hours.
Question 1: Based on these three facts, on what date would you predict the first manned balloon will exceed 130,000 feet (which has not been done)? Provide your reasoning.

Question 2: Based on these three facts, how long would you expect the manned balloon to be in the air when it reaches 130,000 feet? Provide your reasoning.



Note: The current official altitude record was set in May, 1961, when Commander Malcolm Ross and Lieutenant Victor A. Prather, Jr. of the US Navy rose 113,740 feet.