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Astronauts test special transistors in space

Posted on Tuesday, June 17 2008 @ 05:01:24 CEST by

Transistors based on a new kind of material created by Northwestern University researchers have been lifted into outer space on the space shuttle Endeavour and attached to the outside of the International Space Station for radiation testing.

Such transistors could prove helpful on long space missions, such as NASA's current Phoenix Mars Mission, since early experiments on Earth indicate that the transistors hold up well when exposed to radiation.

The transistors, which used a new kind of gate dielectric material called a self-assembled nanodielectric (SAND), were placed on the space station during a spacewalk March 22. The transistors will remain there for a year as part of a NASA materials experiment to see how they and other materials hold up to the harsh space environment.

More details at EurekAlert.



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