Science

Two-Seater Solar Plane Set To Soar At The Edge Of Space In 2018, What For?

By Sai , Dec 01, 2016 06:08 AM EST
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As SolarStratos have recently revealed its plans for the coming years, it was found that an aircraft powered by the sun could possibly soon graze the edge of space, flying to an altitude of more than 80,000 feet. Apart from that, SolarStratos, being the first commercial two-seater solar plane in history, has also revealed its plans for a five hour mission to space and back. During the said mission, the plane and pilot will be subjected to frigid temperatures and extremely low pressures.

SolarStratos For 2018

According to reports revealed by New Atlas, solar planes are not new to the industry anymore, as they have already traversed the Alps and flown around the world. However, one team has its sights set a little higher, which is to be at the edge of space. SolarStratos is planning to fly a solar-powered plane to an altitude of over 80,000 feet (24,000 m), from where the curvature of the Earth as well as daytime stars will be visible.

It was found that the objective of this mission is to be able to demonstrate the potential of renewable energy and to explore the possibility of flying people to such altitudes using solar technology. Although the project has begun in 2014, authorities of said mission have emphasized that it has hit a significant milestone this month, with the completion of the hangar that will serve as the team's operational base, where the SolarStratos plane will be developed and maintained and from where testing will be conducted.

Meanwhile, Daily Mail reports that the firm has proudly claimed that SolarStratos is the first commercial two-seater solar plane, and will be the first solar craft to breach the stratosphere. Additionally, the firm said that before this project, pilot Raphaël Domjan led the first trip around the world in a solar-power boat, which was allegedly completed in May 2012. Furthermore, according to the experts, the craft will not be pressurized as a result of weight restrictions, and the pilot will have to wear an astronaut's pressurized suit, in another solar energy first.

Ultimately, the SolarStratos team has highly emphasized that the mission will be considered as a challenge to both human and technological capabilities, and could actually pave the way for renewable energy travel. The hangar and the plane are reportedly said to be publicly launched on Dec. 7th, with test flights scheduled to begin early next year. The mission itself is currently set for 2018.

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