Inc. reported that its recently announced TEC 3i solar cell has been
selected to power NASA JPL’s latest Martian Exploration spacecraft and
robotic rover vehicle.

“Based upon our successful heritage of participating with JPL in
the powering of their very successful Mars Pathfinder mission, Tecstar
is honored to again be selected to power this very exciting program,”
reported Patrick Park, Tecstar vice president for Photovoltaic
Marketing & Sales.

“We at Tecstar, along with the rest of the world, were all glued
to our TV sets to watch the amazing photographs return from the Mars
Pathfinder, and we all expect to be equally impressed with the Mars
Exploration Rover (MER) when it begins its mission to advance man’s
knowledge of Mars,” added Park.

The Mars Exploration Rover is the latest in a series of Mars
missions that will some day enable a manned visit to Mars. MER will
carry an array of advanced sensors and instruments including cameras
and multiple spectrometers to determine if there is evidence of liquid
water in Mars history. The rovers are much larger than the “Sojourner”
rover employed in the Mars Pathfinder Mission.

Tecstar, together with JPL scientists and engineers, will design,
build and test a family of solar panels necessary to power the
spacecraft during its voyage to Mars and then to power the Exploration
Rover up to 100 kilometers per Martian day. MER is JPL’s most
ambitious autonomously powered rover design to date.

“MER joins several other interplanetary missions our TEC 3i solar
cells have been selected to power,” shared Hector Macias, Tecstar
director of Product Development.

“To date, Tecstar’s new TEC 3i solar cell has also been selected
to power the ‘NASDA/NEC MUSES-C’ asteroid exploration & sample return
vehicle scheduled for launch late next year, the NASA Ball Aerospace
‘DEEP IMPACT’ comet sample return vehicle, and the Johns Hopkins
Applied Physics Laboratory ‘MESSENGER’ planet Mercury exploration
satellite,” reported Macias.

Tecstar’s TEC 3i solar cell offers solar array designers the
largest format, very high efficiency solar cell available in
production today. It incorporates a unique monolithic bypass diode
feature that increases the life time and reliability of the solar
array while reducing the cost and weight of the solar array required
to power the spacecraft.

TEC 3i recently entered production and has quickly been
established as a market-leading technology choice for solar array and
spacecraft designers.

Tecstar Inc. is a compound semiconductor company providing key
enabling technologies to the Satellite Power and Optoelectronics

Key products include EPI for High Brightness LEDs, HBTs, VCSELs
and other related compound semiconductor devices, as well as solar
cells, CICs and panels for satellite applications. Tecstar also
operates divisions supporting the aircraft and spacecraft industries.

Together, Tecstar provides products worldwide and delivers to the
major optoelectronics device manufacturers and all major satellite