Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Tests Solar Film Manufactured By Ascent Solar Technologies
Further Evaluation to be made by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) for Deep Space Missions
Space exploration continues to spark the imagination of many, including investors that look to profit from the opportunity. But how do future-driven minds invest in space exploration? One option that comes to mind is the public company Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) founded by world-renown entrepreneur Elon Musk and his successful funding of SpaceX. You might be surprised to discover that investing in TSLA is not investing in SpaceX. Why? SpaceX is a private company that received $1 Billion in funding by Google in early 2015, and unless something big happens, SpaceX is not expected to have an initial public offering (IPO) any time soon – so there goes that idea.
While public companies like Boeing (NYSE:BA) and Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) are viable investment options for commercial travel to space, their propulsion technologies are limited. Yes folks, the laws of physics even hold true to investing! These are the fundamental laws that were set in motion at the beginning of time itself, encompassing our entire existence and understanding of the universe. Physics shows us one important thing; the conventional propulsion methods of rockets and fuel propellants are costly and are largely limited to interplanetary travel. When it comes to investing in what will ultimately be interstellar and intergalactic exploration of our universe, investors need to look to other, unconventional propulsion technologies.
Right now we are about to introduce you to a company that has the ability to become one of the largest suppliers of the solar filament technology that can power a virtually weightless method of propelling spacecraft. Welcome to the “Solar Sail.”
The “solar sail” is a form of spacecraft propulsion that uses radiation pressure exerted by the sun. This propulsion technology is also called the “photon sail” and the “light sail”. You see, folks, the sun is continuously shooting out photons. Although photons do not have mass, they do have a little bit of momentum. The solar sail is essentially a giant mirror that reflects the photons back in the direction they came from, while shoving the sail in the opposite direction. Over time, this momentum gradually increases. In three years, a solar sail could reach speeds of 150,000 mph (240,000 kph), scientists estimate. At that speed, it could reach Pluto in less than five years. As a comparison, it took NASA’s Voyager spacecraft over 12 years to reach a similar distance using conventional propellants. And guess who launched the first solar sail into space? It would be wishful thinking if you thought it was NASA. No folks, this time it was JAXA (The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency). JAXA is the “NASA of Japan”. JAXA is very well funded – recording a budget of 184 Billion Yen in 2015 – and like most things ‘Japan’, are positioned to lead.
The IKAROS ( Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation Of the Sun) was launched on May 21, 2010 and became the world’s first solar powered sail craft employing both photon propulsion and thin film solar power generation during its interplanetary cruise.
JAXA is looking to take the solar sail technology a step further by selecting ASTI (Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc.), ranked #189 by Deloitte’s 2016 Technology Fast 500, as part of JAXA’s next round of evaluations for an upcoming mission to Jupiter.
See (Ascent’s Lightweight Thin-Film Solar Selected for Further Evaluation by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) for Deep Space Missions)
The decision was followed by an earlier round of investigation that showed promising results, during which ASTI ‘s patented, flexible monolithically integrated copper-indium-gallium-selenide (CIGS) solar module, was subjected to environmental extremes, and continued to operate well.
The first phase of testing showed that ASTI ‘s technology held up a temperatures below -146°C (-231°F) and up to +190°C (+374 °F), and to only 4% of the sunlight generally received in earth’s orbit. Even more impressive is that the technology held up to severe radiation.
Conventional solar sails use fragile crystalline solar cells that require additional structure for protect. ASTI ‘s patented lightweight, flexible and nearly indestructible technology can take advantage of a novel array of construction that provides a higher performance in a more economical fashion. In addition, ASTI ‘s technology will provide both propulsion as well as lightweight electrical power for the mission.
With JAXA testing ASTI’s flexible (CIGS) solar modules, ASTI is looking like a ground-level opportunity for investors looking to expand their portfolios in space exploration.
For those investors who wish to keep their money on solid ground, ASTI ‘s technology can also be found in energy collection and storage devices retailed in Verizon Wireless stores around the country.
Either way, we suspect ASTI will soon rank higher as one of the Fastest Growing Companies in North America, continue to win numerous more awards for cutting edge technologies, and lead the world in specialty solar panel technology that fills the void for Space and Near Space travel/exploration, Drones, Military, Disaster Recovery and everyday consumer energy products. So let’s keep a close eye on ASTI for any further announcements.