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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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  • Re:Units (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Culture20 ( 968837 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @11:23AM (#32336646)

    as long as a 23-floor skyscraper is tall

    How many football field lenghts would that be?

    ((10 feet plus 5 foot drop ceiling space plus foot of actual floor plus an extra foot for good measure) times 23 divided by three) divided by 100 equals ~1.303333333 football fields

  • by petes_PoV ( 912422 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @11:25AM (#32336670)
    I remember the "Echo" satellites from the early 60's. their orbital times were even published in the newspapers and you could see them move through the night sky. I know you can see the ISS when it's around, but aren't these sorts of baloons rather old-hat now?
  • Helium or Hydrogen? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bmo ( 77928 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @11:36AM (#32336858)

    What I want to know is if we're going to waste expensive helium on this or inflate it with hydrogen?

    Weather balloons, hobbyist stratospheric balloons, etc, are usually filled with helium. But the only rationale for using helium is that it doesn't burn. It's more expensive than hydrogen. It's less efficient than hydrogen, and we only have so much helium left. We're not sending up people. There is no reason to use helium, really.

    It's time to get rid of the Hindenburg meme.


  • by blankoboy ( 719577 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @11:41AM (#32336920)
    If these huge airships become common place you can bet that it will not be long until we have 'airvertising' similar to what we saw in Bladerunner? I imagine a huge airship with a Geisha commercial plastered on one side.
  • by DesScorp ( 410532 ) <> on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @11:47AM (#32337008) Homepage Journal

    "and we only have so much helium left"

    That's the bad news. The good news is actually two-sided []. For one...

    For helium-3's true believers - the ones who think the isotope's fusion power will take us to the edge of our solar system and beyond - talk of the coming shortage is overblown: There's a huge, untapped supply right in our own backyard.

    "The moon is the El Dorado of helium-3," says Savage, and he's right: Every star, including our sun, emits helium constantly. Implanted in the lunar soil by the solar wind, the all-important gas can be found on the moon by the bucketful."

    So all of the helium we could need is on the moon, and if we can reach them, the gas giant planets. So the second part of the good news is that this gives us a real, economically viable reason to go back to the moon and stay this time... to actually build a base and commence helium mining and collection. And there's other resources on the moon waiting for us as well.

  • by mangu ( 126918 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @12:27PM (#32337544)

    the Hindenburg was a thermite fire, not a hydrogen fire

    You have been watching too much MacGyver []. Anybody who has ever worked with thermite knows how difficult it is to ignite.

    Even the Mythbusters have debunked that old bullshit about the Hindenburg paint. This story was funny once, it stopped being funny about the millionth time it was repeated on the internet.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @12:30PM (#32337574)

    No. Airship Ventures Zepplin NT is longer, and you can get a ride, too, if you're up for $499 / hr (!)

Variables don't; constants aren't.