As it has no engine, the Perlan 2 will not pollute the environment and the two-person crew will breathe pure oxygen.
The Perlan 2 has a 25m wingspan and has a mass of 573kg when empty.
Mountain waves are updraughts that form when winds cross a mountain range at a perpendicular angle (see image below). The glider ‘surfs’ the mountain waves to achieve lift.
© Chris Philpot
The Perlan 2 will set a new altitude record and will experience temperatures of -70°C.
The glider will operate in atmospheric conditions similar to those on Mars, so its tech may help us explore the Red Planet.