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Last Post 21 Oct 2008 03:11 PM by  Pat Reiff
solar energy
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Anonymous





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20 Oct 2008 03:40 PM

    Crystal (fx) 5th grade

    Have any of you worked in the solar energy business aside from studying the sun, or have family who does?

    Tags: Jupiter, solar energy, Juno, wind energy

    Paulett Liewer



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    Posts:113
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    20 Oct 2008 06:01 PM
    Hi Crystal, No, not me. But did you know that many NASA spacecraft are solar-powered? And NASA's Mars Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, which have been traveling around Mars since January 2004, are totally solar powered! Paulett

    Kris Sigsbee



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    21 Oct 2008 08:57 AM

    Hi Crystal,

    I have not worked in the solar energy business either, but I think it is very important that we try to increase our use of alternate energy sources like solar power and wind power.

    Paulett made a very good point about many spacecraft being solar-powered. Scientists here at the University of Iowa are currently building instruments for the Juno mission to study Jupiter. The Juno mission will be the first solar-powered spacecraft to explore the outer planets. Past missions to Jupiter and the other outer planets have had to rely upon Radioisotope Thermal Generators (RTGs) which use radioactive materials like plutonium to generate heat and electrical power for the spacecraft. Improvements to solar cell technology now make it possible to send a spacecraft to Jupiter without using RTGs.

    Kris


    Pat Reiff



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    21 Oct 2008 03:11 PM
    We actually had an electric generating windmill on our farm at one time, but the wind resource wasn't very reliable. There are many other windmills in Texas and California, however, which generate a lot of energy! It's not direct solar, but indirect solar energy. We chose "Green Mountain Energy" as our electrical supplier for our house so we can use clean green energy every day without having to have a solar cell on our house. I have a Prius "hybrid" car which uses electrical and gasoline energy. I'd love to be able to put solar cells on it so it would use less gas. Maybe that will be available in the future. I also have an electric cart which I use around our campus.
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