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Artist's impression of the SMART-1 mission
SMART-1 is the first ESA spacecraft to use the new and more efficient three-layered triple-junction gallium-arsenide (GaAs) solar cells. They have 21% efficiency compared to the 6-12% efficiency of those commercially available previously, which were made from materials similar to the solar cells used in pocket calculators. Soon GaA-based solar cells, which are the subject of further development by ESA and European industry, could also be a very powerful source of energy for other applications on Earth as well as in space.
Credits: ESA
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The Moon
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