Reuters

Solar-powered plane

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German test pilot Markus Scherdel steers the solar-powered Solar Impulse 2 aircraft for its maiden flight at its base in Payerne, Switzerland June 2, 2014. The aircraft, which was unveiled April 9, weighs 2.4 tons with a wingspan of 72 meters (236 ft.) and more than 17,000 solar cells. The attempt to fly around the world in stages using only solar energy will be made in 2015, according to the project. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

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The solar-powered Solar Impulse 2 experimental aircraft takes off during its maiden flight at its base in Payerne June 2, 2014. REUTERS/Laurent Gillieron/Pool

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The solar-powered Solar Impulse 2 experimental aircraft lands during its maiden flight in Payerne June 2, 2014. REUTERS/Laurent Gillieron/Pool

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Solar Impulse co-founder Bertrand Piccard (L) congratulates German test pilot Markus Scherdel (R) after steering the solar-powered Solar Impulse 2 aircraft on its maiden flight at its base in Payerne June 2, 2014. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

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A spotter takes a picture of the Solar Impulse 2 experimental aircraft (not pictured) as the sun rises during its maiden flight in Payerne, June 2, 2014. REUTERS/Laurent Gillieron/Pool

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Ground crew staff push the solar-powered Solar Impulse 2 aircraft back into its hangar after its maiden flight in Payerne June 2, 2014. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

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German test pilot Markus Scherdel prepares for take-off in the solar-powered Solar Impulse 2 aircraft on its maiden flight at its base in Payerne June 2, 2014. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

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German test pilot Markus Scherdel (C) poses with Solar Impulse co-founders Andre Borschberg (R) and Bertrand Piccard after taking the solar-powered Solar Impulse 2 aircraft on its maiden flight at its base in Payerne June 2, 2014. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

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Solar Impulse's Chief Executive Officer and pilot Andre Borschberg performs a low altitude go-round procedure with the solar-powered HB-SIA prototype aircraft during a test flight at Payerne airport April 18, 2011. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

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Solar Impulse's solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane test pilot Markus Scherdel of Germany prepares for a test flight at Payerne airport April 11, 2011. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

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Solar Impulse's solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane is being prepared for a test flight at Payerne airport April 11, 2011. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

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Solar Impulse's Chief Executive Officer and pilot Andre Borschberg steers the solar-powered HB-SIA prototype during a test flight at Payerne airport April 18, 2011. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

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Solar Impulse's Chief Executive Officer and pilot Andre Borschberg flies in the solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane during its first successful night flight attempt at Payerne airport, Switzerland, July 8, 2010. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

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The solar-powered Solar Impulse HB-SIA prototype airplane is seen in the firm's hangar in Payerne, July 1, 2010. REUTERS/Pascal Lauener

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Solar Impulse's Chief Executive Officer and pilot Andre Borschberg flies the solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane at sunrise during the plane's first night flight attempt near Payerne airport, July 8, 2010. REUTERS/Fabrice Coffrini/Pool

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German test pilot Markus Scherdel steers the solar-powered Solar Impulse HB-SIA prototype airplane touch down after his first flight over Payerne, April 7, 2010. REUTERS/Pool/Fabrice Coffrini

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The Solar Impulse, a solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane, is prepared for its first night flight attempt at Payerne airport, July 7, 2010. REUTERS/Fabrice Coffrini/Pool

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Solar Impulse's solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane stands still after its first successful night flight attempt at Payerne airport, July 8, 2010. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

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Solar Impulse Chief Executive Andre Borschberg (R) and President Bertrand Piccard celebrate after the first successful night flight attempt at Payerne, airport July 8, 2010. REUTERS/Dominique Favre/Pool

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German test pilot Markus Scherdel, steers the solar-powered Solar Impulse HB-SIA prototype airplane during his first flight in front of the Swiss Alps, April 7, 2010. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

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Technicians and mechanics stand beside the solar-powered 61 metres (200 feet) wingspan Solar Impulse HB-SIA prototype airplane on a tarmac at the airport in Duebendorf near Zurich, November 6, 2009. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

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The new Solar Impulse 2 aircraft is pulled out of its base for the first time for tests with solar panels in Payerne April 14, 2014. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

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Pilot and co-founder of Solar Impulse Bertrand Piccard, sits with electrodes attached to his head in the cockpit of a transatlantic 72 hour flight simulation at the airport in Duebendorf near Zurich December 17, 2013. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

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A medic connects electrodes to the head of Bertrand Piccard (C) pilot and co-founder of Solar Impulse before the start of a transatlantic 72 hour flight simulation at the airport in Duebendorf near Zurich December 17, 2013. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

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Bertrand Piccard (C) pilot and co-founder of Solar Impulse receives an injection from a medic before the start of a transatlantic 72 hour flight simulation at the airport in Duebendorf near Zurich December 17, 2013. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

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The suit and boots of Solar Impulse project CEO and pilot Andre Borschberg are pictured before take-off at Payerne airport May 24, 2012. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

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Ground staff prepare the solar-powered HB-SIA Solar Impulse prototype aircraft before a test flight at Payerne airport early morning April 18, 2011. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

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Solar Impulse's Chief Executive Officer and pilot Andre Borschberg flies in the solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane above Lake Leman near Vevey during a test flight from its base in Payerne to Geneva International airport September 21, 2010. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

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Staff push the solar-powered HB-SIA prototype after it successful landing on the tarmac of Cointrin International airport in Geneva September 21, 2010. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

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A helicopter flies over the solar-powered Solar Impulse HB-SIA prototype airplane steered by German test pilot Markus Scherdel, during his first flight over Payerne April 7, 2010. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

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