Saturday, July 17, 2010

Captain's Log: Piccard and the Enterprise in the Real World
The craft in the above photo is an experimental solar-powered airplane which completed its first 24-hour flight test last week. The project's co-founder is famous ballonist Bertrand Piccard (no doubt, as we've suggested here before, an ancestor of the Captain who for efficiency's sake dropped a c). He noted that
many people had been skeptical that renewable energy could ever be used to take a man into the air and keep him there. "There is a before and after in terms of what people have to believe and understand about renewable energies," Piccard said, adding that the flight was proof new technologies can help break society's dependence on fossil fuels.

Another experimental success last week was the first crewed flight of the VSS Enterprise, the Virgin Galactic spacecraft. The Enterprise stayed attached to its mothership, testing its systems before the big step of a trip into space. The objective will be sub-orbital flights to give passengers the experience of weightlessness.

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