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Words in the News
Wednesday 19 June 2002
Vocabulary from the news. Listen to and read the report then find explanations of difficult words below.

  Balloon takes off
Round-World Balloon Trip
Summary: Millionaire American adventurer Steve Fossett has successfully taken off from an airfield in western Australia. He is hoping to become the first person to complete a solo balloon navigation of the earth. This is his sixth attempt at capturing the record. This report from Dominic Hughes.
   
The News Listen  
  After a long and anxious night waiting for just the right conditions for launch, Steve Fossett and his ground crew decided to go ahead with his latest attempt at a solo circumnavigation. Thousands of cubic metres of helium were pumped into the towering silver canopy of his balloon. After meticulous pre-flight checks and the loading of last-minute supplies, the balloon finally lifted off from the airfield at Northam in western Australia.

Steve Fossett will spend the next fifteen to twenty days living in a tiny capsule suspended beneath the balloon, getting little sleep and eating army rations he describes as disgusting. But the millionaire financier believes this is his best chance to capture the record that has eluded him on five previous attempts.

Last year, he got as far as Brazil, but was forced to abandon the flight because of deteriorating weather conditions. In 1998, he was lucky to survive when his balloon plummeted into the sea. So, having safely launched his latest attempt in western Australia, everything now depends on the weather.

Dominic Hughes, BBC, Australia

 
   
The Words Listen
 
  conditions
things which can affect the flight - here, the weather

 
   
  ground crew
the team of people working on the ground to assist the flight

 
   
  circumnavigation
travelling around the world

 
   
  meticulous
with a lot of attention to detail

 
   
  supplies
necessary food, drink, etc. taken on a journey

 
   
  capsule
here, a compartment hanging beneath the balloon, where the balloonist can travel

 
   
  rations
the amount of food allowed each day on an expedition

 
   
  record
a record is usually the fastest or best attempt at something: here, to travel round the world in a balloon.

 
   
  eluded
if something eludes you, you just can’t reach it.

 
   
  plummeted
fell very fast and very hard

 
   
  Read more about this story  
 

Other Words in the News archives

 

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