The First Woman to Pilot a Balloon over the North Pole


The event (April 12 -25th 1998) was an International hot air balloon expedition to the North Pole. Participants included balloon teams from Australia, Greece, Austria, Germany, France and Italy. It was organized by an Austrian balloonist, however the host was the Russian Para/Rescue Center and the Association of Space Explorers. All transportation while in Russia as well as ice camp was provided by this group and the cooperation of the Russian Air Force.

The group consisted of a pilot plus two crew members.  The Pilot, Debbie Harding, is a commercial balloon operator that runs a small recreational flight business in Chester County since 1989. The crew were all volunteers and were all pretty much regular folk.

The goal of the expedition was to share this event with grade schools and children of all ages. This trip was not only fun and exciting, this trip was also educational. Our plan was always to allow our local schools to participate in this event through email and still pictures delivered from the Internet. While doing our homework as to how much it would cost for what we would need, we discovered that a woman has yet to fly a balloon to the North Pole. A first in 1998! Guinness will accept this first with proper documentation. Our goal then became to give the message to kids that there are many firsts still out there for those who are willing to learn about our universe and participate in it.

Feel free to browse these pages and learn about the north pole. Please use the contact form to contact us on our journey. We will be happy to answer as many questions as we can about our adventure.

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Some Pre-Expedition Newspaper Articles