April 1, 2018 ÖSYM | osym
~1 mins

In Bertrand Piccard’s family, there is a tradition of being first. His grandfather, Auguste, was the first person to ride a balloon into the stratosphere. His father, Jacques, was the first to reach the Earth’s deepest point, the Pacific’s Mariana Trench. And in 1999, Piccard completed the first non-stop, around-the-world balloon flight. This feat, plus an environmentally conscious approach to innovation, spurred the renowned Swiss adventurer to dream of circumnavigating the globe in a plane that uses no fuel. The result is the Solar Impulse 2, an aircraft equipped with more than 17,000 solar cells. Thanks to lithium batteries that efficiently store energy reserves, it is the first solar-powered plane that can fly through the night. “If we want to solve our pollution and energy problems,” says Piccard, a psychiatrist by training, “we need to increase our energy efficiency and focus on clean technologies. Solar Impulse 2 is really a way to show that those technologies are mature.”