A. Andrée's Arctic balloon expedition of 1897 was a Swedish expedition for the North Pole in which all three expedition members perished. S. A. Andrée (1854–97), the first Swedish balloonist, proposed a voyage by hydrogen balloon from Svalbard to either Russia or Canada, which was to pass, with a strike of luck and the self invented drag-rope steering technique, straight over the North Pole on the way. The scheme was received with patriotic enthusiasm in Sweden.
When Andrée, Strindberg, and Frænkel lifted off from Svalbard in July 1897, the balloon lost hydrogen quickly and landed on the pack ice after only two days. The explorers were unhurt but faced a grueling trek back south across the drifting icescape. Inadequately clothed, equipped, and prepared, and shocked by the difficulty of the terrain, they did not make it to safety. As the Arctic winter closed in on them in October, the group ended up exhausted on the deserted Kvitøya (White Island) in Svalbard and died there, from starvation and polar bear attack. For 33 years the fate of the Andrée expedition remained one of the unsolved riddles of the Arctic. The chance discovery in 1930 of the expedition's last camp created a media sensation in Sweden, where the dead men had been mourned and idolized.