This detailed account of the preparations and departure of the epic flight by two members of the expedition support team, Henri Lachambre and Alexis Machuron, captures perfectly the scale, planning and atmosphere of this great adventure.
Including a wide variety of photographs, the book is a personal account of the construction of the balloon by Lachambre; it’s transportation to Spitzbergen and incarceration in a specially built shed. The trials and tribulations of the initial curtailed expedition in 1896 are followed by those of the more successful second trip which culminated in the eventual departure of the explorers.
The technical detail of the balloon is combined with accounts of the teams’ day-to-day life at sea and ashore in the arctic whilst awaiting the right weather. Diversions included hunting trips and the setting-off of avalanches for the amusement of the crew.
And finally, following the interception of a carrier pigeon some days after launch, comes the last message.
ANDREE AND HIS BALLOON
On the afternoon of Sunday 11th July 1897 Salomon-Auguste Andree and two companions left the port of Virgo, Spitzbergen in a balloon heading for the North Pole. They were not seen again until the summer of 1930.For 33 years the fate of the Andrée expedition remained one of the unsolved riddles of the Arctic. The chance discovery of the expedition’s last camp created a media sensation at the time.