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The problem is explained in a video on Michel Fournier's website (www.legrandsaut.org) by Fournier's staff member Michel Chevalet, unfortunately only in French. However, the drawings shown in the video are still informative. The balloon is attached to the cabin by means of two metal pieces linked together with a strong metal wire. The cabin needs to be recovered after Fournier deboarded. In order to achieve this, five explosive charges are placed next to the linking wire. Two of the charges would go off timer controlled 30 minutes after Fournier jumped, two more are controlled by radio from PC within the cabin, one more charge is radio controlled from the ground. After blowing the charges, the cabin would return safely to earth attached to three parachutes. The construction will make sure that even if some charges fail, the cabin can be safely recovered. Now this is what happened according to the conjectures of Fournier's staff: After filling the balloon with helium, a pulley holding tight the link between the balloon and the cabin was removed in order to initiate the ascent. Momentarily losing tension, some parts linking the balloon to the cabin dropped to the ground. The charge connected to the external radio control went off inadvertently as the radio receiver box hit the ground. Consequently, the balloon was separated from the cabin and went flying on its own.

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Q: Why did Michel Fournier's balloon blow away?
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