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Pictures | Thu Jul 8, 2010 | 11:50am EDT

Night flight for solar plane

<p>The Solar Impulse, a solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane, is prepared for its first night flight attempt at Payerne airport July 7, 2010. The propeller plane, piloted by Solar Impulse Chief Executive Andre Borschberg, has a 61-metre (200-foot) wingspan and is powered by four electric motors. It is designed to fly day and night by saving surplus energy from its 12,000 solar cells in high-performance batteries. REUTERS/Fabrice Coffrini/Pool </p>

The Solar Impulse, a solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane, is prepared for its first night flight attempt at Payerne airport July 7, 2010. The propeller plane, piloted by Solar Impulse Chief Executive Andre Borschberg, has a 61-metre (200-foot)...more

The Solar Impulse, a solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane, is prepared for its first night flight attempt at Payerne airport July 7, 2010. The propeller plane, piloted by Solar Impulse Chief Executive Andre Borschberg, has a 61-metre (200-foot) wingspan and is powered by four electric motors. It is designed to fly day and night by saving surplus energy from its 12,000 solar cells in high-performance batteries. REUTERS/Fabrice Coffrini/Pool

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<p>Solar Impulse Chief Executive Andre Borschberg (L) and President Bertrand Piccard talk before Borschberg takes off in the Solar Impulse, a solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane, for its first night flight attempt at Payerne airport July 7, 2010. . REUTERS/Fabrice Coffrini/Pool </p>

Solar Impulse Chief Executive Andre Borschberg (L) and President Bertrand Piccard talk before Borschberg takes off in the Solar Impulse, a solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane, for its first night flight attempt at Payerne airport July 7, 2010. ....more

Solar Impulse Chief Executive Andre Borschberg (L) and President Bertrand Piccard talk before Borschberg takes off in the Solar Impulse, a solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane, for its first night flight attempt at Payerne airport July 7, 2010. . REUTERS/Fabrice Coffrini/Pool

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<p>The Solar Impulse, a solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane, is prepared for its first night flight attempt at Payerne airport July 7, 2010.  REUTERS/Fabrice Coffrini/Pool </p>

The Solar Impulse, a solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane, is prepared for its first night flight attempt at Payerne airport July 7, 2010. REUTERS/Fabrice Coffrini/Pool

The Solar Impulse, a solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane, is prepared for its first night flight attempt at Payerne airport July 7, 2010. REUTERS/Fabrice Coffrini/Pool

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<p>Solar Impulse Chief Executive Andre Borschberg gives a thumbs up before taking off in the Solar Impulse, a solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane, for its first night flight attempt at Payerne airport July 7, 2010. REUTERS/Fabrice Coffrini/Pool </p>

Solar Impulse Chief Executive Andre Borschberg gives a thumbs up before taking off in the Solar Impulse, a solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane, for its first night flight attempt at Payerne airport July 7, 2010. REUTERS/Fabrice Coffrini/Pool more

Solar Impulse Chief Executive Andre Borschberg gives a thumbs up before taking off in the Solar Impulse, a solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane, for its first night flight attempt at Payerne airport July 7, 2010. REUTERS/Fabrice Coffrini/Pool

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<p>The Solar Impulse, a solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane, takes off for its first night flight attempt at Payerne airport July 7, 2010. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse </p>

The Solar Impulse, a solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane, takes off for its first night flight attempt at Payerne airport July 7, 2010. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

The Solar Impulse, a solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane, takes off for its first night flight attempt at Payerne airport July 7, 2010. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

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<p>Solar Impulse's Chief Executive Officer and pilot Andre Borschberg flies during sunset in the solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane during its first night flight attempt near Payerne airport July 7, 2010.        REUTERS/Dominic Favre/Pool </p>

Solar Impulse's Chief Executive Officer and pilot Andre Borschberg flies during sunset in the solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane during its first night flight attempt near Payerne airport July 7, 2010. REUTERS/Dominic Favre/Pool

Solar Impulse's Chief Executive Officer and pilot Andre Borschberg flies during sunset in the solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane during its first night flight attempt near Payerne airport July 7, 2010. REUTERS/Dominic Favre/Pool

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<p>Solar Impulse's Chief Executive Officer and pilot Andre Borschberg flies during sunset in the solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane during its first night flight attempt near Payerne airport July 7, 2010.  REUTERS/Dominic Favre/Pool </p>

Solar Impulse's Chief Executive Officer and pilot Andre Borschberg flies during sunset in the solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane during its first night flight attempt near Payerne airport July 7, 2010. REUTERS/Dominic Favre/Pool

Solar Impulse's Chief Executive Officer and pilot Andre Borschberg flies during sunset in the solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane during its first night flight attempt near Payerne airport July 7, 2010. REUTERS/Dominic Favre/Pool

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<p>Solar Impulse's Chief Executive Officer and pilot Andre Borschberg flies the solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane at sunrise during the plane's first night flight attempt near Payerne airport July 8, 2010.  REUTERS/Fabrice Coffrini/Pool </p>

Solar Impulse's Chief Executive Officer and pilot Andre Borschberg flies the solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane at sunrise during the plane's first night flight attempt near Payerne airport July 8, 2010. REUTERS/Fabrice Coffrini/Pool

Solar Impulse's Chief Executive Officer and pilot Andre Borschberg flies the solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane at sunrise during the plane's first night flight attempt near Payerne airport July 8, 2010. REUTERS/Fabrice Coffrini/Pool

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<p>Solar Impulse's Chief Executive Officer and pilot Andre Borschberg flies in the solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane during its first successful night flight attempt at Payerne airport July 8, 2010. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse </p>

Solar Impulse's Chief Executive Officer and pilot Andre Borschberg flies in the solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane during its first successful night flight attempt at Payerne airport July 8, 2010. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Solar Impulse's Chief Executive Officer and pilot Andre Borschberg flies in the solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane during its first successful night flight attempt at Payerne airport July 8, 2010. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

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<p>Solar Impulse's Chief Executive Officer and pilot Andre Borschberg prepares the landing of the solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane after its first successful night flight attempt at Payerne airport July 8, 2010. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse </p>

Solar Impulse's Chief Executive Officer and pilot Andre Borschberg prepares the landing of the solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane after its first successful night flight attempt at Payerne airport July 8, 2010. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Solar Impulse's Chief Executive Officer and pilot Andre Borschberg prepares the landing of the solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane after its first successful night flight attempt at Payerne airport July 8, 2010. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

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<p>Solar Impulse's solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane's shadow is cast on a field during its first successful night flight attempt near Payerne airport July 8, 2010. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse </p>

Solar Impulse's solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane's shadow is cast on a field during its first successful night flight attempt near Payerne airport July 8, 2010. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Solar Impulse's solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane's shadow is cast on a field during its first successful night flight attempt near Payerne airport July 8, 2010. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

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<p>Solar Impulse's Chief Executive Officer and pilot Andre Borschberg lands the solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane after its first successful night flight attempt at Payerne airport July 8, 2010. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse </p>

Solar Impulse's Chief Executive Officer and pilot Andre Borschberg lands the solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane after its first successful night flight attempt at Payerne airport July 8, 2010. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Solar Impulse's Chief Executive Officer and pilot Andre Borschberg lands the solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane after its first successful night flight attempt at Payerne airport July 8, 2010. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

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<p>Solar Impulse Chief Executive Andre Borschberg (R) and President Bertrand Piccard celebrate after the first successful night flight attempt at Payerne airport July 8, 2010.  REUTERS/Dominique Favre/Pool </p>

Solar Impulse Chief Executive Andre Borschberg (R) and President Bertrand Piccard celebrate after the first successful night flight attempt at Payerne airport July 8, 2010. REUTERS/Dominique Favre/Pool

Solar Impulse Chief Executive Andre Borschberg (R) and President Bertrand Piccard celebrate after the first successful night flight attempt at Payerne airport July 8, 2010. REUTERS/Dominique Favre/Pool

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<p>Solar Impulse's solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane stands still after its first successful night flight attempt at Payerne airport July 8, 2010.  REUTERS/Dominique Favre/Pool </p>

Solar Impulse's solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane stands still after its first successful night flight attempt at Payerne airport July 8, 2010. REUTERS/Dominique Favre/Pool

Solar Impulse's solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane stands still after its first successful night flight attempt at Payerne airport July 8, 2010. REUTERS/Dominique Favre/Pool

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<p>Solar Impulse's solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane stands still after its first successful night flight attempt at Payerne airport July 8, 2010. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse </p>

Solar Impulse's solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane stands still after its first successful night flight attempt at Payerne airport July 8, 2010. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Solar Impulse's solar-powered HB-SIA prototype airplane stands still after its first successful night flight attempt at Payerne airport July 8, 2010. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

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<p>Solar Impulse Chief Executive Andre Borschberg (R) and President Bertrand Piccard celebrate after the first successful night flight attempt at Payerne airport July 8, 2010.  REUTERS/Dominique Favre/Pool </p>

Solar Impulse Chief Executive Andre Borschberg (R) and President Bertrand Piccard celebrate after the first successful night flight attempt at Payerne airport July 8, 2010. REUTERS/Dominique Favre/Pool

Solar Impulse Chief Executive Andre Borschberg (R) and President Bertrand Piccard celebrate after the first successful night flight attempt at Payerne airport July 8, 2010. REUTERS/Dominique Favre/Pool

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