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Communications Science

Airship Inflated To Create Monster "Stratellite" 204

yoderman94 writes "A huge inflatable vehicle as long as a 23-floor skyscraper is tall has become the world's largest airship in its bid to serve as a stratospheric satellite, or 'stratellite,' according to its developers."
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Airship Inflated To Create Monster "Stratellite"

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  • Huh? (Score:5, Informative)

    by shadow349 (1034412) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:18AM (#32336560)

    From TFS:

    stratospheric satellite, or 'stratellite,' according to its developers.

    From TFA:

    The airship is designed to carry payloads of up to 2,000 pounds (907 kg) at altitudes of 20,000 feet (6,096 m).

    From Wiki:

    The stratosphere is situated between about 10 km (6 miles) and 50 km (31 miles) altitude above the surface at moderate latitudes, while at the poles it starts at about 8 km (5 miles) altitude.

    Anyone else see the issue?

  • Re:Units (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sir_Lewk (967686) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <kwelris>> on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:26AM (#32336690)

    (235 feet) / (100 yards) = 0.783

    Not even one.

    This may be the largest current airship, but the airships of the past absolutely dwarfed this. The Hindenburg was 245m (803 ft 10 in), or 2.67 football fields.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @11:05AM (#32337262)
    the Hindenburg was a thermite fire, not a hydrogen fire
  • by Tekfactory (937086) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @11:20AM (#32337468) Homepage

    Helium-3 is not Helium like you put in Balloons, its the Isotope of Helium you put in Fusion Reactors and Medical Imaging technology.

    It is worth $46,500 per troy ounce.

    Hydrogen would be much less expensive for this application, and like others have stated if you don't paint the sides of the airship with rocket fuel, a rigid airship with segmented air bladders is pretty safe.

    Maybe we can even reopen the Blimp port on the top of the Empire State Building.

  • Re:Units (Score:4, Informative)

    by Vintermann (400722) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @12:07PM (#32338058) Homepage

    This may be the largest current airship


    Nope. The Zeppelin NT [] is 75 meters, 2-3 meters longer than this one. It also has twice the payload.

  • by flink (18449) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @12:16PM (#32338148)

    Elemental hydrogen is very easily gotten many different ways at various level of expense as it is one of the most abundant elements on the planet. Refining it from oil reserves isn't the only way. Electricity + H2O -> H2 + O is pretty well known.

    Elemental helium by contrast is relatively rare on Earth and is only got from natural gas deposits. The He in these deposits builds up over millennia as a consequence of beta decay of other radioactive elements. Additionally many refineries aren't equipped to process He, so a lot of it that is mined just gets lost.

  • by Carnildo (712617) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @03:21PM (#32340820) Homepage Journal

    It's also merely the largest modern airship. The Graf Zeppelin was three times longer, and most of the interwar airships were similarly large.

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