The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Solar-Powered Mayflower to Cross the Atlantic 400 Years After Pilgrim Voyage
But Pilgrims won’t be maneuvering this ship—or passengers of any kind, instead, a small fleet of drones will steer the ship across the ocean waters in the year 2020.
As Popular Science reports, the vessel, nicknamed MARS—the Mayflower Autonomous Research Ship—is a joint venture of engineers at three UK entities: Plymouth University, autonomous-craft specialists MSubs and yacht designers Shuttleworth Design.
When the vessel is launched in 2020—and if no one beats them to it, the Mayflower will become the first surface vessel to complete an unmanned transatlantic voyage.
Explained Professor Kevin Jones, the University’s executive dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering:
“MARS will operate as a research platform, conducting numerous scientific experiments during the course of its voyage. It will be a test bed for new navigation software and alternative forms of power, incorporating huge advancements in solar, wave and sail technology.”
Because MARS is still in its design phase, the photos are the artist’s rendering of some early ideas. It is expected to take two and a half years to build the craft and another year to test it. At present, there is no word on how long the designers think the actual voyage will take.
Unmanned vehicles have crossed the ocean before—in the air and underwater—but never on the waves, therefore, this is an exciting development.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Sarah Wesseler
Talk of natural climate solutions typically conjures up images of lush forests or pristine wetlands. But in King County, Washington, one important natural solution comes from a less Instagram-worthy source: the toilets of Seattle.
Weight loss aside, there is no shortage of benefits to eating healthier: a lower risk of heart disease and cancer, reduced gut inflammation and preventing memory loss later in life, to name a few. A healthy diet may also reduce hearing loss later in life, according to a new study out of Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Tesla just unveiled its first electric truck.
CEO Elon Musk showed off the new design at a launch event at the company's Design Studio in Hawthorne, California Thursday.