In a fitting tribute to mark 50 years since the first moon landing, a Qatar Executive Gulfstream G650ER has set a new record for a circumnavigation of the earth via the two poles by an aircraft. The G650ER completed the 40,172km (21,691nm) route in 46 hours, 39 minutes and 38 seconds. The flight departed from the Kennedy Space Centre at 9.32am on 9 July (the same time and place as Apollo 11 was launched in 1969). The aircraft made three stops – Nur-Sultan (formerly Astana) in Kazakhstan, Mauritius and Punta Arenas in Chile. The record-breaking flight beat the previous tally – set in 2008 by a Global Express – by five hours, 51 minutes and 26 seconds. This flight had departed from Farnborough, UK and had made technical stops at Whitehorse, Canada, Majuro, Marshall Islands, Christchurch, New Zealand, Punta Arenas and Sal in Cabo Verde. This attempt itself shaved 95 minutes off the previous record set by a Pan Am Boeing 747SP in 1977.
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