Thirteen years ago, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg began building what many experts said was impossible—a solar-powered airplane capable of flying day and night. With the wingspan of a 747 jet and the weight of a car, Solar Impulse is extremely fragile. High winds or turbulence can snap the wings in two. But the dangerous and historic trip tests more than their technology. In an unheated, unpressurized cockpit, the solo flight across the Pacific Ocean becomes a feat of endurance unlike any other in aviation history. Technical failures, unplanned landings, and stormy weather put the entire mission in jeopardy and drain the spirits of the team. To succeed, both Bertrand, a psychiatrist and balloonist, and André, an engineer and jet fighter pilot, must set aside their differences and go against the advice of their crew. Point of No Return explores what it takes to do something truly groundbreaking, and documents how their journey captivated people around the world. People who came out to see the plane land in their cities and watched live from computers at home. It’s a story of hope, courage, and perseverance that gets to the heart of what it will take to solve the biggest environmental threat humans have ever faced.
Moderator — Chris Mooney (Washington Post, writer)