New Tech: The Cosmos-Powered PC

Neutron-7 Scientists plan to use the International Space Station as a base for producing a new type of solar crystals. The production of thin-film crystals in the conditions of weightlessness gives them properties which are unattainable under Earth-bound conditions.

This technology will provide a dramatic increase in efficiency in 60 % of electronic devices -solar batteries, computers, transistors- in which the photo crystals are used. 

A laboratory on the ISS will grow the new type of crystals for use in solar batteries with implementation by 2013

Developers maintain that the vacuum conditions considerably improve the quality of crystals, lending them the properties which cannot be attained on Earth.

“The unique vacuum environment of space allows us to move forward in terms of computers, solar crystals, high speed transistors, high power transistors, energy – all these areas would benefit from advancing materials in space,” said Professor Alex Ignatiev from the University of Houston, Texas in an interview with the BBC. Scientists view that these highly pure crystals will be grown either in a special laboratory which will be attached to the ISS or will revolve around it and have the provision for periodic docking.

Russia’s federal space agency ‘Rosskosmos’ is expected to have a majority stake in the project and will have Americans participating in it. The project is waiting for a nod to start and if it gets the approval this amazingly next to impossible growing of crystals in the orbit will start by 2013.

Jason McManus



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