National Geographic : 1936 Jan
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE A GIANT MUSHROOM GROWS WEIRDLY IN THE WHITE LIGHTS OF THE STRATOBOWL When the domelike top of the Explorer II had been inflated thus far, a tear was discovered in the fabric. Men, dwarfed to pygmy size by the immensity of the bag, are here beginning to repair the rent. The picture shows clearly how the mooring ropes were attached to the upper catenary band, to be paid out as the balloon filled with gas. Just before the take-off, these double ropes were pulled through the grommets, or eyelets, in the catenary and fell to the ground. In the fore ground are the "warming tents" provided on the night of inflation for part of the ground crew of soldiers. Photographs by Richard H. Stewart LIKE A SILVER HUB ON A JEWELED WHEEL This striking photograph taken from the rim of the Stratobowl shows the balloon, its top inflated as far down as the upper catenary band, beginning to rise in the center of the floodlighted floor. Mooring ropes were attached to each of the points in the scalloped edge and held by soldiers until after the gondola was attached. To the right, seen dimly, are the gas "sleeves" (page 62).