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This Happened

This Happened — July 26: Solar-Powered Flight Around Earth

The Solar Impulse 2 completed its historic circumnavigation of the Earth on this day in 2016, after a journey that spanned approximately 26,000 miles (42,000 kilometers) and took over a year to complete. It demonstrated the feasibility of long-duration, solar-powered flights, encouraging further research and innovation in renewable energy technologies for aviation and other sectors.

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What is the Swiss Solar Impulse 2?

The Swiss Solar Impulse 2 is a solar-powered aircraft designed to fly using only solar energy. It was a pioneering project led by Swiss aviators Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, with the aim of demonstrating the potential of renewable energy and clean technologies.

How did the Swiss Solar Impulse 2 achieve its solar powered flight?

The Solar Impulse 2 was equipped with more than 17,000 solar cells that covered its wings, supplying energy to four electric motors and charging four lithium polymer batteries during the day. These batteries then powered the aircraft during nighttime flights.

What were some of the challenges faced during the Swiss Solar Impulse 2's journey?

The aircraft had to contend with unpredictable weather conditions, long flight durations, and technical issues. The pilots also had to manage their energy consumption and rest while flying for several days and nights.

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Migrant Lives

A Train Journey With Bengal Migrants Looking For A Living Far Away

Finding a seat on the Karmabhoomi Express is close to impossible. A closer look at why so many migrant workers travel on it, and out of Bengal, offers a grim picture.

image of a train

The Karmabhoomi Express runs from Kamakhya to Mumbai in a 3 day journey.

India Rail Info
Joydeep Sarkar

WEST BENGAL — Welcome aboard the 22512 Kamakhya-LTT Karmabhoomi Express — a metaphor, if any, of the acuteness of Bengal’s unemployment problem.

It is 10.28 pm at north Bengal’s Alipurduar Junction and the crowd has swollen to its peak. This is when the Karmabhoomi Express appears at the station. It is bound for Mumbai. Finding a seat on it is close to impossible. It is always chock full and there are always hundreds struggling to get a spot in the unreserved general compartment.

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