12:00 AM

Ohio State experiment returns to earth on space shuttle

Among the cargo items returned to Earth by the space shuttle Atlantis this morning was a solar energy device designed by an Ohio State University professor. The solar cell -- a device that converts sunlight to electricity -- performed exceptionally well as it was tested by NASA aboard the International Space Station over the last 16 months.

Steven Ringel, the Neal A. Smith Professor of Electrical Engineering and professor of physics at Ohio State, and his team designed special materials for the project, in collaboration with scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and NASA Glenn Research Center.

NASA may use the solar cell to power the next generation of space vehicles, but the long-term payoff here on Earth could be efficient, affordable solar energy. Ringel is available for interviews. Contact Pam Frost Gorder, (614) 292-9475, to make arrangements.