Much like OLED lights, a new solar panel can be printed on paper thin materials. Other solar structures can break under too much strain or bending, however, this method allows the material to have a great flexibility, so much so it can even be folded and still work.
The printing process of this new solar harnessing method is not completely unique, but interesting none the less. They call it a "3-D printing technique," but in short, it is just printing in multiple layers. In addition to those layers, a stenciling is used to put on the finishing touches. All this is done inside a vacuum chamber since the method uses a vapor deposition process (process of materials being condensed or converted from a vapor state to a solid material, or in this case, a flat thin surface).
The material is great and can be used for many applications. I saw a phone a few years back with external static charge technology that allows the body's friction and static build up to charge a cell phone. Again, using the body in a way, you could put this solar technology on parts of clothing or a hat to recharge things like the new PSP or Portable Movie Players. Not really going to look too fashionable but I'm sure they will think of something.
What else you think this could be used for?
Stop Bad President Decisions!http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2011-07/nasa-manned-space-flight
I'm not going into the millions of problems we have with Obama, at the moment. However, I was reading this article and felt it very important to pass along the message.
Space exploration is very important to man kind. Not just for the search of knowledge, or even to see if someone else is out there, but more importantly, Earth won't always have the resources we need to survive the way we do. Sure I could sit and debate that we need to change our dependencies, or put money into researching other areas for travel, but no matter how you look at it NASA was the place to go for all intergalactic imagery when I was growing up. Destroying the NASA programs doesn't just mark an end (for now) to human evolution and progress, but it marks an end to the imagination and dreams of my child hood, and that of my children.
It is very upsetting to see my child hood goals (albeit unrealistic) diminished from bad leadership. Space exploration may not be dead, but this "speed bump" is simply unreasonable and unnecessary. It is time for the Americans to stand up and have their voice heard. Let Congress know they are making a huge mistake.
What emotions does this decision make you feel? Do you support it or not and why?