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Friday, April 11, 2014

Tenney Grammar School - March 21

42° 43' 53" N

 71° 10' 39" W
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The EarthView team is excited to be at Tenney Grammar School in Methuen again! As you may know, there is a plane that departed from Malaysia that has been missing since the 8th of March. As of the 5th-8th, unidentified "pings" have been heard underwater by China and Australia. There is no certainty that these "pings" are those from the black box of the plane, rescue teams have been cleared to search for the plane.

 The rescue teams are using thermal and satellite imagery, along with "buoys equipped with hydrophone listening devices" to aid the search for the missing plane. Should there be any signs of finding the wreckage of the Flight MH370, a miniature submarine will be deployed to map out the ocean floor and pinpoint the location of the plane.

Speaking of planes, a new plane is surging from Switzerland. The Solar Impulse 2, an idea from the Solar Impulse team, led by Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, is the second running of solar planes from the team. The idea behind this is to make the plane run solely on solar energy from 17,000 solar panels. This plane will have a wingspan of 72 kilometers (or as we would know it, about 236 feet), and match that of a Boeing 747 plane.

Despite its wingspan, this plane is small, and weighs around the same as a large car. there is a cockpit that is big enough to house one person inside "comfortably" and will have an auto-pilot feature that acts as a co-pilot. The plane is scheduled to travel the globe in 5 months, never needing to stop to re-fuel, but making stops to switch over pilots. The plan is to make the journey happen in 10 different stretches, some lasting over 5 days. This plane may not be ready for the masses to travel in, but it is definitely a huge step forward in the future of solar technology.

Our visit is on April 11th, which is also the date when the Treaty of Paris came into effect in 1899. The treaty had been signed on December 10th, 1898, and signified the end of the Spanish-American War. One of the effects of the treaty was for Spain to cede Puerto Rico to the United States.

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