The Solar Impulse project sent out the following press release this morning:
“Dear Solar Impulse Friends,
“This morning at 06h45, the Solar Impulse Mission Team had to take the difficult decision to postpone the first night flight attempt.
“The problem comes from the telemetry transmitter that has broken down. This system enables the ground team to follow in real time the flight mission and to monitor thousands of crucial parameters. With a prototype such as Solar Impulse currently in an experimental phase, this system is an essential component without which, the mission was not possible.
“Due to this inoperative piece of equipment produced specifically for this prototype, we were unfortunately unable to replace it and subsequently had to postpone this first attempt.
“The entire team is of course intensively working to find a solution, however at this particular time we are unable to announce another date for the next trial.”
Project leaders commented, with Chief Test Pilot Claude Nicollier reminding us that the safety of the pilot is paramount; Solar Impulse CEO and C0-founder Andre’ Borschberg noting the experimental nature of the “adventure,” and that “seeking the limits of the technology” risks these difficulties; and Bertrand Piccard, Chairman of Solar Impulse declaring, “I succeeded the first nonstop around the world tour in an air balloon only after the third try! Patience and perseverance are essential values in this type of project.”
To stay abreast of the situation, see the Solar Impulse blog, which will be regularly updated with revised schedules and news.