British balloonist Per Lindstrand broke the world altitude record for a hot-air balloon Monday, floating more than 11 miles above the Earth's surface, his spokeswoman said.
After a 31/2-hour flight in his pressurized gondola, Lindstrand landed about 70 miles northeast of his launch site, some 27 miles north of Laredo."It was an ideal landing," said Lisa Boell, a spokeswoman for Lindstrand's crew.
Boell said Linstrand set an unofficial record at 58,700. At 7:02 a.m., Lindstrand topped the 55,134-foot record set in 1980 by Julian Nott. Last year, Lindstrand and Richard Brandson became the first people to cross the Atlantic in a hot-air balloon.
Houston Air Traffic Control officials who were tracking Lindstrand's balloon on radar said the Swedish-born engineer had topped 58,700 feet at 7:10 a.m.