Watch live: Jet to take off from Florida to attempt world record flight
ORLANDO, Fla., July 9 (UPI) — A jet is scheduled to take off from Florida‘s Kennedy Space Center on Tuesday morning in an attempt to break a world record for flying around the Earth over the North and South poles.
The flight will be live-streamed on YouTube.
Retired astronaut Terry Virts and a team of pilots from British company Action Aviation will fly an executive jet for about 48 hours with the briefest of stops to refuel in Kazakhstan, Mauritius and Chile. The Gulfstream G650ER is owned by a subsidiary of Qatar Airways. They’ll attempt to shave hours off a record that’s gone unchallenged since 2008, according to a news release from Action.
The mission, titled One More Orbit, pays tribute to the achievements of the Apollo moon missions with a take off time of 9:32 a.m. — the same time as the original Apollo 11 liftoff on July 16, 1969.
Virts is a former commander of the International Space Station and a space shuttle pilot for the 2015 flight of Endeavour, STS-130.
The flight is also designed to be “carbon neutral” by using carbon sequestration offsets.
The flight is estimated at 25,000 miles. Qatar Executive and Gulfstream claim the jet can fly at a faster speed for longer distances than any other jet, with a range of 8,630 miles.