Aerial Slackliners Push What's Possible

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Is it possible to walk across a line slung between two hot-air balloon baskets at altitude? A team of acrobats tried it recently, caught their attempts on video, and posted it online last week. The project requires that the two balloon pilots control their altitude very precisely, and they must stay in close proximity -- not so close that the line goes limp, but not so far apart that the line is tight. The acrobats are equipped with parachutes, and one after another, they gamely make the attempt. They say they are going to keep trying till they make it, so there may be more video to come soon. The Skyliners are a professional acrobatic team based in France -- they wisely advise, "Please don't try this at home."

Others have crossed between balloons using a rigid high-wire. Last year, a tightrope-walker in China, Aisikaier Wubulikasimu, set a world record for a crossing between two hot-air balloons, traversing a 60-foot long, two-inch-wide steel beam, in just 38.35 seconds.