SolarStratos is a SolarXplorers SA group venture. This mission initiated by the eco-explorer Raphaël Domjan in 2014 targeted to achieve, as of 2018, the first solar stratospheric flight at over 80,000 feet, which is more than 24,000 metres altitude.
The solar two-seater plane has been built by the company PC-aéro and its solar systems were developed by the CSEM in Neuchâtel, together with a team of international specialists.
At this extreme altitude, where the temperature is around -70 degrees Celsius and the atmospheric pressure 5%, Raphaël Domjan can observe the stars at daytime and the earth’s curvature.
The SolarStratos plane will fly at an altitude impossible to reach with a traditional propulsion plane.
Raphaël Domjan and his team
In order to rise to this unprecedented challenge, Raphaël Domjan, supported by the DLR (German space agency), has already surrounded himself with a team of specialists such as co-pilot Thierry Plojoux, astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, entrepreneur et CEO Roland Loos, engineer and builder of the plane Calin Gologan, as well as other engineering, meteorological, computing and communication experts. In addition to this venture, Raphaël Domjan and his team have a long term project aimed at opening up exploitation of the stratosphere using solar energy, with the help of solar stratospheric drones.