PlanetSolar completes first solar-powered boat trip around the globe

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On September 27th, 2010 the solar-powered MS Tûranor (also known as PlanetSolar) departed from Monaco with the goal of travelling around the entire globe using only the power of the sun — and now the ship has finally arrived back where it started. In doing so PlanetSolar becomes the first solar-powered ship to circumnavigate the globe, and over its lengthy journey it crossed the Atlantic ocean, the Panama Canal, the Pacific ocean, the Indian ocean, the Suez Canal, and the Mediterranean as it kept as close to the equator as possible to ensure plenty of sunshine.

The boat itself is not only the first solar ship to travel around the world, it's also the biggest ever built — PlanetSolar is 31 meters long, 15 meters wide, and weighs in at 95 metric tons. And in case you were wondering, the name Tûranor is taken from the Lord of the Rings novels, and translates appropriately to "the power of the sun." As for what's next for the boat, PlanetSolar could end up being used as anything from a scientific vessel to a luxury yacht. "Everything is possible," Immo Stroeher, who helped finance the expedition, told Wired.

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