Rapid City, SD, November 8, 1956 - The Strato-Lab gondola rises from the Stratobowl and is now about to clear the rim, some 400 feet above the launch site. The balloon, already above the rim, is only partially visible. On this date, two naval observers soared to an unofficial altitude record of 76,000 feet in a spherical aluminum gondola from part of the Office of Naval Research's Strato-Lab Project, was to test the feasibility of the system at high altitudes. The Strato-Lab program is designed to conduct research from manned space laboratory attached to plastic skyhook balloon. The Gondola, originally designed for Project Helios, was completed and fitted out by General Mills, Inc.