An international team has launched its helium-filled balloon from Japan in a bid to reach North America and break two major records, The Associated Press reported. Pilots Troy Bradley of New Mexico and Leonid Tiukhtyaev of Russia set off from Saga, Japan, shortly before 6:30 a.m. Sunday Japan time. The pilots are hoping to reach North America, an attempt that will put them on course to break a distance record of 5,208 miles. They also want to break the flight-duration record set in 1978 when Ben Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson and Larry Newman made the first trans-Atlantic balloon flight. That record of 137 hours in the air in a traditional gas balloon is considered the holy grail of ballooning achievements. The team is expected to land in the next 5 ½ days, Hill said. But where they will land is not clear.