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Last Post 10/28/2014 2:44 PM by  Pat Reiff
solar energy
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10/28/2014 1:03 PM

    have any experiments on the moon used solar energy? thank you.

    Tags: solar energy, Moon, orbit, solar cells

    Pat Reiff

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    10/28/2014 2:44 PM
    [quote user="Anonymous"]

    have any experiments on the moon used solar energy? thank you.

    [/quote] The Apollo instruments on the Moon used Radioactive Thermoelectric Generators (RTG's), which could power the instruments through the LOOOOONG lunar night (over 14 days!!). If like we propose, a lunar colony is set on the edge of Shackleton Crater near the Moon's south pole, the solar panels could receive sunlight virtually all the time. To watch our shows which includes how we could do a lunar colony using solar cells, please see


    Now, lunar ORBITING spacecraft can use solar cells because they orbit quickly and are not "in the dark" very long. The ISS at earth, for example, has 45 minutes of day and 45 minutes of dark every orbit. The moon's gravity is less, but its radius is smaller, so spacecraft that orbit the Moon have a lightly longer orbital period. LRO has an orbit about 50 km above the Moon's surface, with a period of about 113 minutes. It uses solar cells to power the spacecraft. LADEE also orbited the moon, but it crashed into the moon on April 18. And now LRO has photographed the LADEE impact site!

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