There was much more to celebrate this weekend than our country’s independence! How about the historic first across-America trip flown by a solar-powered airplane?
This Saturday, July 5th, Solar Impulse successfully completed its cross-country journey when it landed right here in NY, at our very own JFK Airport. This daring adventure began two months ago when the plane took off from San Francisco, California on May 3rd! This five-leg trip was quite extensive, lasting over 100 hours, covering 3511 miles. Since the plane stopped at various cities throughout the U.S., the Solar Impulse crew had the opportunity to organize public viewings.
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On Saturday June 22, visitors to Stuyvesant Cove Park had a chance to get up close and personal with the neighboring East River. Thanks to a diverse coalition of waterfront access groups, New Yorkers could do more than look out over the waves on a beautiful summer day – they could actually kayak through them!
Over the course of the afternoon, more than 200 park goers piled into the sunny yellow boats on the beach (or outcropping, as some refer to it) just north of the 20th Street entrance to the Park. Seasoned volunteers were present to offer instruction and guidance, but many kayakers found they needed little more help than the first nudge into the water. Some paddled adventurously while others simply coasted with the flow of the tide, but everyone – young and old – enjoyed the unique experience.
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The Solar One staff has always included a lot of avid bikers and Transportation Alternatives, the city’s bike advocacy org, is a Solar One BFF of long standing. Back in 2009, we even tried to make our own stationary bike blenders and have hosted events that included bike-powered sound systems and other bike exotica. But in honor of today’s National Bike to Work Day, our dear friends at Voltaic Systems have created the awesome solar charger in the picture above, mounted on a bike trailer. This charger can handle 180 watt-hours of charging capacity, that’s a lot of cell phones!
Check out the rest of the article (and see some more great pictures) on their blog HERE. And don’t forget to wear a helmet on your bike commute!