Arctic Air gallery opens at Albuquerque Balloon Museum

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A new special exhibit is now up at the Albuquerque Balloon Museum.

The gallery of Arctic Air opened Tuesday commemorating the first balloon flight to the North Pole in 1897. The S.A. Andree Flight took off exactly 120 years ago on Tuesday.

Three Swedish balloonists made it the North Pole but were forced to trek 30 miles back to civilization after landing.

On their way back, the three went missing and 30 years after the expedition their bodies were found.

All three bodies were eventually returned to Sweden and honored as heroes.

“This was a huge step forward in the attempt to reach the North Pole, and there was a lot of confidence that they could do it, this thing was planned out, they were prepared and that’s what this exhibition tells a story about,” Paul Garver, the museum manager, said.

The display includes interactive touch screens, videos, photographs, artifacts and replicas from the flight.

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