CHATEAU D'OEX, Switzerland (Reuters) - Three balloonists from Switzerland, Britain and Belgium lifted off from this mountain village on Wednesday in a bid to fly round the world non-stop and become the first to perform the feat. The Breitling Orbiter-2 hot-air craft, with the trio inside its sealed cabin swinging below, moved up quickly into clear blue skies and headed south towards Italy and the Mediterranean at just before 10 a.m. (0900GMT). Swiss mission leader Bertrand Piccard signalled thumbs up from the still open capsule as the restraining cables were pulled away and the balloon rose, trailing underneath solar panels to supply extra energy. Earlier, a problem with a satellite communications antenna held up the planned dawn liftoff on what is expected to be a two-week journey across the Middle East, Asia, the Pacific, North America and the Atlantic -- if all goes well. The silver, aluminium-coated balloon was inflated during the night at this mountain village and international ballooning centre in the Swiss Alps, and had been originally due to depart as the sun rose over the mountains. With Piccard, a 39-year-old psychiatrist from a famous family of explorers, in the crew of the 53-metre (177 feet) high balloon are Belgian pilot and businessman Wim Verstraeten and British engineer Andrew Elson.