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Watch this solar-powered plane fly around the world for the first time, in real-time

You can now follow this solar-powered airplane fly around the world via live video, chat and social media.

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In an attempt to demonstrate “concrete action for a clean future” and show off how damn awesome solar-powered planes can be, the just Solar Impulse 2 has today taken off from the United Arab Emirates in mission to fly around the globe.

According to the BBC, the Solar Impulse was responsible for breaking the record for flying across the States in 2013. This was the first time the world saw a solar-powered plane fly day and night from San Fransisco to New York.

The plane making the round the world attempt is an updated model of the 2013 version. The entirety of the Impulse 2’s wings are fitted with 17 000 solar cells, weighing over 2.3 tonnes and measuring 72 metres in total.

While the plane’s machinery is something phenomenal of note, the way its vitals are being monitored and shared online — as it hops from continent to continent — is similarly incredible.

This site seems like something inspired by the Curiosity Mars Rover, whose tweets quickly became a hit, finding a sweet spot between the scientific and pop culture.

Dedicated to Impulse 2’s real-time diagnostics, the portal groups everything from a logbook and live video to a map and live chat. There’s something really special about watching something happening for the first time, in real-time.

The video skips between the control room and the tight, uncomfortable-looking cockpit of the championing pilots:

Pilots Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard took-off from Abu Dhabi, after which they’ll skip across continents and oceans for the next five months, stopping over here and there for a well-deserved snooze. The plane will pass over the Arabian Sea, India, Myanmar, China and the Pacific Ocean. After crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the final legs include a stop-over in Southern Europe or North Africa before completing the Round-The-World flight at its final destination back in Abu Dhabi.

The pair is driving an initiative, called Future is Clean, to promote clean energy and voice opinion at the end-of-the-year COP17 conference.

Read more: Rosetta’s about to attempt its dramatic comet landing

For more info on this epic trek over the next few months, you can always follow the official Twitter account here.

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