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Published on Aug 16, 2010
Space technology was used by the Dutch Nuon Solar Team to construct their solar race car, Nuna, which participated in and won the 2001 World Solar Challenge. This high-tech racer Nuna uses lightweight materials such as carbon fibres, synthetic resin and foam plastics, making up around one third of the total car. The aerodynamics and the technology used to join plastics were first used for space vehicles re-entering the Earth's atmosphere. Using advanced space technologies, provided to the team via ESA's Technology Transfer Programme, enable the car to reach a theoretical top speed of 170 km per hour. An improved version, Nuna II, won the 2003 World Solar Challenge. The racing car includes several advanced technologies originally developed by European companies for spacecraft - ultramodern solar cells, high performance batteries and space plastics.