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Posted: July 26, 2016

First solar-powered plane makes it around the world with no fuel

IN FLIGHT - JULY 25: In this handout image supplied by Jean Revillard, Swiss pioneer Bertrand Piccard takes a selfie during the last leg of the round the world trip with Solar Impulse 2 over the Arab peninsula prior to the landing in Abu Dhabi to finish the first around the world flight without the use of fuel on July 25, 2016 in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The The 42,000 km journey was completed in 17-stages across four continents. The Solar Impulse 2 is equipped with 17,000 solar cells, has a wingspan of 72 metres, and yet weighs just over 2 tonnes. (Photo by Jean Revillard/Solar Impulse2 via Getty Images)
Handout
IN FLIGHT - JULY 25: In this handout image supplied by Jean Revillard, Swiss pioneer Bertrand Piccard takes a selfie during the last leg of the round the world trip with Solar Impulse 2 over the Arab peninsula prior to the landing in Abu Dhabi to finish the first around the world flight without the use of fuel on July 25, 2016 in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The The 42,000 km journey was completed in 17-stages across four continents. The Solar Impulse 2 is equipped with 17,000 solar cells, has a wingspan of 72 metres, and yet weighs just over 2 tonnes. (Photo by Jean Revillard/Solar Impulse2 via Getty Images)

By Samantha Crook

Video includes clips from Solar Impulse. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

A solar plane attempting to fly around the world just completed a successful mission.

"If this works, of course, everybody can do it on the ground to make a cleaner world," one of the pilots said in a Solar Impulse video.

Solar Impulse's voyage started in March 2015, and a little more than a year later, the plane landed back where it first took off in Abu Dhabi. 

The record-setting flight is an important development in the exploration of solar energy, but there have been some challenges along the way. The trip was stalled in Hawaii last summer after the plane's batteries overheated.

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In the last leg of the trip, there were concerns about how extreme heat in the Middle East could affect the plane.

Before the landing, Solar Impulse's final pilot said in a statement: "I'm excited to come so close to the goal, but unfortunately, there are still so many people we have to motivate before having a world running on the same clean technologies."


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