National Geographic : 1961 Nov
sealed us off from the increasingly dangerous low pressure around us. At 35,000 feet we were also experiencing bitter cold. The temperature had dropped to -40° F.; eventually it was to plunge to -94° at 52,000 feet. We knew that our balloon now was as brittle as a glass Christmas tree ornament. A sharp change in wind speed - a wind shear - could shatter it into confetti. I have seen this happen to unmanned balloons; I shall not forget the sight. We had entered the region of the jet streams, rivers of air that race through the upper at mosphere. They increased the danger of a wind shear, and they also might carry us irresistibly into storm clouds where light ning would find us a tempting target. Only a year earlier, lightning hit an unmanned bal loon just like ours, releasing its gondola. But with practically clear weather at our launch position, a less dramatic but more in Casting a long morning shadow, balloon and parachute float above the carrier. From the flight deck they tower 483 feet.