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Fossett finally flying

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Steve Fossett has taken off from Cape Canaveral in his bid to break the world record for the longest uninterrupted flight. Fuel leakage problems which grounded the attempt on Tuesday have apparently been overcome.

The 61-year-old sped down the three mile runway, normally used for space shuttle landings, shortly before 1230 GMT. His aircraft, Richard Branson's Virgin GlobalFlyer, requires a long run up to get its massive payload of fuel airborne.

If all goes to plan, at the end of the 80 hour trip Fossett will have to extended the current record of 24,987 miles to over 26,000 miles.

During the journey, sleep will be confined to five minute power napping, and Fossett's diet will consist solely of nutrition replacement milkshakes. In case of emergency, GlobalFlyer is equipped with a parachute, one-man raft and satellite rescue beacon.

You can track Fossett's progress live via satellite or view him on webcam here. ®

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