May 22nd, 2006

Mars mission poses extreme psychological puzzle Star-Telegram

It’s the moment every wannabe astronaut dreams of: landing on Mars. Just imagine making that momentous speech as you plant your flag in the red soil, the sun rising behind you over Olympus Mons. How breathtaking to see the Earth rise in the night sky, just a white dot among millions of others.
But there’s a flip side. By the time you make that speech, you will have been cooped up inside a metal box for six months. You’ll not talk to your friends or family for another two years. You and your fellow inmates are bound to have survived some hair-raising, potentially fatal crises, and everyone’s nerves will be in tatters.

March 23rd, 2004

Lessons From Mars Star-Telegram

When Sally Urquhart was pregnant with her daughter, Mary, in 1969, she pleaded with the infant to arrive just at the right time. Not too early, not too late and, please, not during man’s first walk on the moon.
“She would talk to me while I was in the womb,” said Mary Urquhart, now a University of Texas at Dallas professor. “She didn’t want to miss a human being first setting foot on the moon.”

August 15th, 2000

Bright idea: Keller firm develops a more efficient solar power system Star-Telegram

More than 206 million miles away, solar panels designed by Entech help drive NASA’s Deep Space 1 satellite toward a September 2001 rendezvous with the comet Borrelly. Back on Earth, advances to technology used by the satellite may slash solar power costs dramatically and transform an alternative energy source into common use. Panels built by Keller-based Entech were recently tested by NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy. They set what is believed to be a record for turning sunlight into electricity. “It’s the highest efficiency [ system] we’ve ever measured using lens and cells, 27.6 percent,” said Keith Emery, the engineer who tested the technology at the Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo. “The highest we had seen before was a Boeing system at 25 percent in 1993.”

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