12 Jul 2019

One More Orbit team circle the globe in under 47 hours

The One More Orbit crew led by Action Aviation chairman Hamish Harding and astronaut Terry Virts has completed its circumnavigation of the world.

The team’s Qatar Executive Gulfstream G650ER aircraft landed at the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 8.12am on 11 July, after a round trip that took in both the North and South Poles and took 46 hours, 39 minutes and 38 seconds.

If ratified, this time beats the current FAI World Record for speed by any aircraft while circling the world via both Poles. Held by Switzerland’s Aziz Ojjeh, it was set in 2008 on a flight that took 49 hours and 36 minutes, translating into an average ground speed of 822.8km/h.

The FAI is waiting for the necessary record claim documentation to ratify the One More Orbit flight as a new world record. 

About One More Orbit

The One More Orbit mission marks both the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, and the 500th anniversary of the first global circumnavigation, started in 1519 by Ferdinand Magellan. As such, it is a tribute to the past, present, and future of space exploration.

It was completed in a Gulfstream G650ER: the fastest ultra-long-range business jet in the world capable of reaching Mach 0.925 and powered by two Rolls-Royce BR725 A1-12 Turbofans. 

The full crew is made up of:

  • Capt. Hamish Harding - United Kingdom, Action Aviation chairman, mission director and one of the 4 G650ER pilots 
  • Col. Terry Virts - United States, Former International Space Station commander, Space Shuttle astronaut, Soyuz astronaut and U.S. Air Force test pilot
  • Capt. Jacob Ove Bech - Denmark, Pilot; Capt. Jeremy Ascough - South Africa, Pilot
  • Capt. Yevgen Vasilienko - Ukraine, Pilot
  • Magdalena Starowicz - Poland, Flight Attendant
  • Col. Genaddy Padalka - Russia, Cosmonaut who holds the FAI World Record for the most time spent in space 
  • Capt. Ian Cameron - United Kingdom, Director of the Mission Control Centre

Sponsors of the mission include logistics provider Action Aviation, Space Florida and climate change specialist Carbon Underground, which is planting 1,000 trees to offset the flight’s carbon emissions.

Photo credit: One More Orbit