Following a bicycle down the runway at Moffett Field in Mountain View, Calif., a solar-powered airplane took off on a coast-to-coast voyage across the U.S. this morning to promote the message of clean technology.
Piloted by Swiss aviator Bertrand Piccard, the Solar Impulse HB-SIA set off for Phoenix, Ariz., on the first leg of its Across America journey that will also take the slender craft to Dallas, St. Louis, Washington, D.C., and finally New York in early July.
The goal is to go from one end of the country to the other without using a drop of fuel. … Read more
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A Belgian artist has invented a memory foam chair that expands when heated up. Plus, we take a look at a $1,500 solar-powered scooter and try on the Predator Helmet. All that and more on this week's super-futuristic episode of Crave. … Read more
Electric scooters are being positioned as eco-friendly alternatives to traveling everywhere in your car. What could make an electric scooter even more green? How about a built-in solar panel? The Solar Electric Scooter does just what its name suggests: gives you a lift with an assist from the sun.
We've seen sleeker scooters (like the MUV-e) and weirder scooters (like the ZeitEco). The Solar Electric Scooter's claim to fame is right underfoot where the solar panel is built into the vehicle.… Read more
It's a good week for renewable energy around the globe, with the world's first algae-powered building opening in Germany, and the official opening of the largest wind farm in the southern hemisphere. Now, France is getting in on the action, with construction officially beginning on the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux, by Swiss design firm Herzog & de Meuron.
The project consists of three parts: the stadium bowl, including the sports field and the seating; the concourse; and the aesthetic look of the stadium. Located in the Bordeaux Lac region on the banks of the Garonne in the city's north, the stadium will be able to hold up to 42,000 spectators. … Read more
The rover and NASA scientists are having a communication breakdown, of sorts. But, not to worry, no hurt feelings are involved. The issue is that the sun has got in the way.
Once every 26 months, as the Earth and Mars rotate around the sun, the two planets end up on opposite sides of the star in an event called the Mars solar conjunction. Because of the sun's massive size, any communication sent between the two planets can … Read more
Saudi Arabia wants to spend over $100 billion to build vast solar arrays and reduce its dependency on oil to generate electricity. But desert sandstorms pose a major challenge to keeping solar panels clean and efficient.
Japanese startup Miraikikai is developing a solution to getting rid of this pesky dust and grit: a cleaning robot that doesn't need water.
The firm has produced the Wall Walker wall and ceiling robot, and recently unveiled a prototype solar panel cleaner built with researchers at Kagawa University.
It weighs about 24 pounds -- light enough to be carried by one person -- and measures about 22 inches across. … Read more
The Solar Impulse has defied all expectations in its short four-year life.
First, the solar-powered airplane got off the ground in 2010 and stayed aloft for a total of 87 minutes without using a drop of fuel; then, it completed its first international flight traveling from its home of Switzerland to Brussels in about 13 hours. By its first birthday, the plane met the goal of staying aloft for 24 hours -- flying at night with solar energy captured during the day. It has since completed a 1,550-mile journey from Madrid, Spain, to Rabat, Morocco.
Now, before it embarks … Read more
Voyager 1 truly has gone where no man (or spacecraft) has gone before. Huge changes in the environment around the space probe indicate that it has gone beyond the heliosphere, our little corner of space that's dominated by the influence of the sun.
It only took 35 years for the craft to travel more than 11 billion miles from the sun and possibly exit the solar system. What scientists are seeing is a huge spike in galactic cosmic rays.
"Within just a few days, the heliospheric intensity of trapped radiation decreased, and the cosmic ray intensity went up as you would expect if it exited the heliosphere," said Bill Webber, professor emeritus of astronomy at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.… Read more