The launch site chosen for the Two Eagles' lift off is Saga, Japan. Saga is located on the southwestern island of Kyushu. The city has approximately 170,000 residents. The reasons for choosing Saga include:
During World War II, the Japanese used the very dependable winds aloft to send balloon-borne bombs to the US. The program named FUGO, sent off balloons with very simple timed ballasting devices. Hundreds of these balloons reached the US and Canada, proving the feasibility of using jet stream winds for long distance balloon flights. The jet stream is most consistent over the North Pacific.
Annually, since 1984, they have hosted an international balloon rally with more than 100 hot air balloons. This provides a flyable area with local balloon enthusiasts for launch support.
It is only 50 miles from Kitakyushu, a major port, and Japan's 11th largest city, and there are six large airports within 100 miles. However, it is not near any of Japan's five international airports. Thus airspace issues are held to a minimum.
By staying farther south and west we greatly increase our chances of traveling the necessary distance to capture the record.
We are about 50 miles from Sasebo, Albuquerque's sister city, and home to a U.S. Naval Base.