KALGOORLIE, Australia (AP) -- American adventurer Steve Fossett drifted into aviation history Tuesday, becoming the first person to fly a balloon solo around the world.
Flying through the darkness 27,000 feet above the ocean south of Australia in his silvery Spirit of Freedom balloon, Fossett crossed east of 117 degrees longitude, the line from which he set off two weeks ago.
The 58-year-old Chicago investment millionaire covered 19,428.6 miles by the time he crossed the finish line, according to his Web site, finally succeeding in his sixth attempt at the record.
"It is a wonderful time for me," Fossett, sounding calm, said over satellite telephone. "Finally after six flights I have succeeded and it is a very satisfying experience."
Fossett doesn't plan to call it quits. He says his next possible adventure will be to fly a glider into the stratosphere to above 60,000 feet. He didn't discuss the details of that mission.
With weather largely on his side throughout this trip, Fossett finally completed the nonstop feat after five previous, crash-plagued attempts spread over more than six years, conquering one of aviation's last barriers.
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