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STRATOSPHERE BOWL

One fourth mile EXPLORER I, launched here July 28, 1934, commanded by Major William E. Kepner, with Captains Orvil A. Anderson and Albert W. Stevens, observers, reached a height of 60,000 when the bag was ripped and a descent forced at Holdridge, Nebraska. EXPLORER II, launched here November 11, 1933, Captains Anderson and Stevens landed 12 miles S. of White Lake, S. Dakota after a WORLD RECORD flight to 72,395 feet. These flights sponsored by the National Geographic Society and the U. S. Army Air Corps were made in a huge helium filled balloon. This bowl was picked because of the natural terrain, favorable weather conditions. The altitude as well as the depth of the bowl made it a perfect protected launching spot. Explorer I I left the ground at 7:01 A.M. Mountain Standard Time and ascended to the highest point reached by man up to that time. While the whole world waited the balloon remained in the air for 8 hours and 13 minutes, landing with all of its instruments intact and a wealth of valuable scientific information regarding high altitude photography, cosmic ray and atmospheric conditions. National Geographic Officials have recently said: "Scientific records that were obtained in that flight have been useful in ways that even today cannot be discussed." The bowl in addition to its historic interest is scenically delightful.

US 16 - 1 1/2 mile east of Rockerville. South Dakota

 

 

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