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The crew breaks the pole record

(CNN) – An international crew broke the record for the fastest lap in the world via the North and South poles, with an impressive margin of nearly six hours.

The 25,000-mile mission, dubbed "One More Orbit" and including a former commander of the International Space Station among its leaders, was launched in honor of the landing of the Apollo 11 moon, whose fiftieth anniversary will take place this month.

The previous record, set in 2008, took 52 hours, 31 minutes and 4 seconds at an average speed of 822.8 km / h.

Under the leadership of Action Aviation President Hamish Harding and Colonel Terry Virts, former commander of the International Space Station, the crew took off on July 9 at 9:32 am from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, to go directly to the North Pole.
The crew poses in front of the gear.

The crew poses in front of the gear.

One More Orbit / Facebook

The plane then refueled in Kazakhstan before flying to Mauritius to begin the journey to the South Pole. He made another fuel stop in Punta Areas, Chile, before returning to Florida.

The aircraft, which is part of the Qatar Executive fleet, was powered by two Rolls-Royce BR725 A1-12 Turbofans.

The first pole-to-pole circumnavigation flight took place in 1965 in a modified Flying Tiger Line Boeing 707-349C, carrying 40 scientists, guests and crew members. To make the trip possible, the aircraft – nicknamed Pole Cat – had to be modified with two additional fuel tanks installed in the main cabin. The trip took 62 hours and 27 minutes.

In 1968, a Modern Air Transport Convair 990 airliner with 78 passengers and its crew flew over both poles. This plane did not set a speed record, but landing at McMurdo Station in Antarctica, it was the first plane to touch the seven continents.

The speed record of the Pan Am 50 flight lasted 31 years, until in 2008, the year when a Bombardier Global Express business jet broke it, thanks to perfect planning and to stops. shorter fuel.

"Our mission pays tribute to the Apollo 11 lunar landing by highlighting how humans are pushing the boundaries of aeronautics," Harding said in a statement. "It's our way of paying tribute to the past, present, and future of space exploration."

Thom Patterson from CNN contributed to this report.

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