Runnin' on Empty: Solar Plane to Fly Across the United States With No Fuel Runnin' on Empty: Solar Plane to Fly Across the United States With No Fuel
Design

Runnin' on Empty: Solar Plane to Fly Across the United States With No Fuel

by Adele Peters

January 26, 2013

It's far from being ready to replace commercial jets, but the designers of the Solar Impulse hope that it can demonstrate how far science can push back the limits of what was once considered impossible. On their website, they write about how the major scientific adventures of the last century, from exploring the poles to the first steps on the moon, were also considered impossible. Now, they say, scientists need the same spirit of adventure; it's only the nature of the challenges that has changed. From the Solar Impulse site:

Major challenges await humanity. They will open new horizons for science, but their objectives will be less to conquer unknown territories than to preserve the planet from today's threats, in order to sustain and improve our quality of life.
 
The next adventures will therefore be humanitarian and medical - combating extreme poverty and containing new epidemics,  political - improving our governance of the planet, spiritual - rediscovering profound and soundly-based values, and of course technological - providing durable answers to the threats menacing our environment.
Images courtesy of Solar Impulse
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Runnin' on Empty: Solar Plane to Fly Across the United States With No Fuel