MADRID - A Spanish national team shirt
was attached to a balloon and launched 33 kilometres up into the
atmosphere to celebrate their first qualification for a World
The Spanish company Zero 2 Infinity were moved to celebrate
Wednesday's 1-0 semi-final victory over Germany and honoured the
achievement at the 14th European Balloon Festival in the Spanish
town of Igualada the day after.
"It wasn't planned (to send a shirt) at first, but after the
victory over Germany we had space for a bit more weight on our
test flight and I thought it would be appropriate," founder and
CEO of the company Jose Mariano Lopez Urdiales told Reuters by
telephone on Saturday.
"I went out to buy a shirt but couldn't find one because
they were all sold out. I had to buy it off a guy in the street
who needed some convincing. I had to show him some photos of
what we did."
A photo from Thursday's flight, with the shirt suspended
above the earth, was posted on the company's website.
Zero to Infinity was set up one and a half years ago and is
developing balloons with the aim of being able to take people up
to get a view of the earth from the edge of space.
They see it as a cheaper and less environmentally damaging
alternative to rocket travel and hope to complete a manned trip
"We want to elevate people literally and emotionally," Lopez
"After watching the Spain match and seeing how it lifted
people in these troubled times, we thought there was a spiritual
dimension which fitted with our objectives."
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