Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Solar Impulse 2 Takes Off for Historic Odyssey Across the Atlantic

Energy
Solar Impulse 2 Takes Off for Historic Odyssey Across the Atlantic

The Solar Impulse 2 took off earlier this morning from New York City for its historic, sun-powered flight across the Atlantic Ocean. The multi-day odyssey will be the longest and perhaps the most difficult leg in the solar plane's journey around the world.

Solar Impulse 2 pilot Bertrand Piccard took off this morning from New York to attempt the first electric, solar and emission-free transatlantic flight. Photo credit: Solar Impulse

The aircraft left John F. Kennedy International Airport at 2:30 a.m. and is being piloted solo by Swiss adventurer Bertrand Piccard.

“It’s my first time taking off from JFK,” Piccard said over a live feed from the aircraft, according to the AFP.

The flight will last approximately 90 hours before landing at the Seville Airport in Spain. Weather conditions could force changes to the route and make the flight more difficult.

"Over the Atlantic Ocean, the weather can be rather unstable and unsettling so we can definitely expect to cross a cold front during the flight," the team wrote in a Q&A. "As many sailors have expressed before, the Atlantic Ocean holds the most difficult winds they have ever encountered."

Already several hours into his flight, Piccard tweeted that he's now past the point of no return.

You can take part in the transatlantic experience on solarimpulse.com's live feed. Upcoming Facebook live sessions will also feature Piccard from the Solar Impulse 2 cockpit and fellow pilot Andre Borschberg from the mission control center.

The Solar Impulse team plans to fly around the world using only the power of the sun to promote renewable energy and other environmental causes. The plane, which runs on 17,000 solar cells and batteries, began its round-the-world trip from Abu Dhabi in March 2015.

“We have demonstrated it is feasible to fly many days, many nights, that the technology works,” Borschberg told the Associated Press in April. Borschberg had piloted a grueling 4,000-mile, 118-hour flight between Nagoya, Japan and Hawaii that is officially the longest uninterrupted journey in aviation history.

To complete its circumnavigation around the globe, the plane still has to fly through Europe and the Middle East back to Abu Dhabi.

As Piccard flew above the Atlantic Ocean this morning, he took the time to tweet out a photo of his majestic view.

"What a beautiful sight of jumping whales. Just like the whales below me, #Si2 depends only on nature," he wrote.

Ever the ocean-enthusiast, in April, after making an epic 62-hour flight from Hawaii to California without a drop of fuel, Piccard observed the horrific amount of plastic that has accumulated in the Pacific ocean.

While flying above the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, Piccard sent out a tweet to Boyan Slat, the 21-year-old founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup.

“I flew over plastic waste as big as a continent,” Piccard wrote. “We must continue to support projects like @BoyanSlat Ocean Cleanup,” referring to Slat’s ambitious project of ridding the world’s oceans of plastic trash.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Nation’s Largest Residential Solar Storage Project to Launch This Summer

Here’s How We Get to 100% Renewable Energy

David Suzuki: Feed-In Tariffs Accelerate the Renewable Energy Revolution

Apple Is Generating So Much Renewable Energy It Plans to Start Selling It


OlgaMiltsova / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Gwen Ranniger

In the midst of a pandemic, sales of cleaning products have skyrocketed, and many feel a need to clean more often. Knowing what to look for when purchasing cleaning supplies can help prevent unwanted and dangerous toxics from entering your home.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter


JasonOndreicka / iStock / Getty Images

Twenty-five years ago, a food called Tofurky made its debut on grocery store shelves. Since then, the tofu-based roast has become a beloved part of many vegetarians' holiday feasts.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Protestors walk past an image of a Native American woman during a march to "Count Every Vote, Protect Every Person" after the U.S. presidential Election in Seattle, Washington on November 4. Jason Redmond / AFP / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

A leading environmental advocacy group marked Native American Heritage Month on Wednesday by urging President-elect Joe Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Kamala Harris, and the entire incoming administration "to honor Indigenous sovereignty and immediately halt the Keystone XL, Dakota Access, and Line 3 pipelines."

Read More Show Less
Marilyn Angel Wynn / Getty Images

By Christina Gish Hill

Historians know that turkey and corn were part of the first Thanksgiving, when Wampanoag peoples shared a harvest meal with the pilgrims of Plymouth plantation in Massachusetts. And traditional Native American farming practices tell us that squash and beans likely were part of that 1621 dinner too.

Read More Show Less
Former U.S. Sec. of Energy Ernest Moniz listens during the National Clean Energy Summit 9.0 on October 13, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Isaac Brekken / Getty Images for National Clean Energy Summit

By Jake Johnson

Amid reports that oil industry-friendly former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz remains under consideration to return to his old post in the incoming Biden administration, a diverse coalition of environmental groups is mobilizing for an "all-out push" to keep Moniz away from the White House and demand a cabinet willing to boldly confront the corporations responsible for the climate emergency.

Read More Show Less