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Airship Inflated To Create Monster "Stratellite"

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the now-that's-a-name dept.

Communications 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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Let's get this out of the way (4, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#32336494)

Is the pilot named Cid?

Re:Let's get this out of the way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32336984)

Let's hope it's not Dr. Hugo Eckener.

Re:Let's get this out of the way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32337096)

For readers who don't get it (I sure didn't prior to Google-fu)...
Reference: "Cid's Airship" http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/List_of_Airships#Cid.27s_Airship_2 [wikia.com]

Re:Let's get this out of the way (1)

Simonetta (207550) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337170)

Is this an American pop culture reference somehow related to lighter-than-air atmospheric transport vehicles? If so, then how about a link for all the Slashdaughters who aren't plugged into American pop culture.

    For me, reference to lighter-than-air atmospheric vehicles always invokes a reference to Bruce Dern's portrayal of John McCain in the 1977 film "Black Sunday".
In this film, Mr. Dern plays a tortured Vietnam Vet Navy Pilot P.O.W. who teams up with a beautiful Swiss-Palestinian female terrorist to deliver a big surprise at the Super Bowl to all the little Moms and Dads and the kids sitting in the stands, eating their little weenies, and watching the big game.

Re:Let's get this out of the way (5, Funny)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337236)

Is this an American pop culture reference

Given that Cid is the recurring character name for the airship pilot/mechanic/engineer in the Final Fantasy games developed in Japan, the answer is "it depends on what you consider American".

Re:Let's get this out of the way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32337498)

Was that the one where the baddie tested his "new camera" by taking a "shot" of a hick in front of his barn door? Good camera angle, as I recall, what with the sunlight streaming through the numerous frag holes.

Black Sunday (1)

Simonetta (207550) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337650)

Yes, You're right. I got a chance to see this movie again recently when I found it as a DVD on the shelf of the local library. It's a forgotten classic. The plot, editing, and pace is crisp and timeless. The characters are scary and cruel without slipping (too much) into over-dramatic parody. The issues and background is as relevant now as it was then. And it's fascinating to see South Beach without all blonde T&A and psychedelic colors that characterizes CGI:Miami.

    And speaking of hot T&A with not-a-little bit of B&D, Martha Keller's character Dhalia Ihad is one true bad-ass for the ages. "Zhere ahre no accidents!"

Airship (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32336502)

Was it built by, or will it be piloted by a man named Cid? If not, it's not a real airship.

Re:Airship (4, Insightful)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#32336654)

Here I was thinking it wasn't a real airship yet because it sounds like they have only filled the balloon, but not attached anything to the balloon yet.

At this point its just a balloon. It still needs its skin, engines, a compartment for pilot and or crew.

They have the air part down, now they just need the ship part.

Balloon? (2, Funny)

wombatmobile (623057) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337060)

it sounds like they have only filled the balloon, but not attached anything to the balloon yet.

Still time to rent it out as a condom.

Re:Airship (1)

buback (144189) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337388)

It still needs its skin, engines, a compartment for pilot and or crew.

They have the air part down, now they just need the ship part.

Yeah, except that your totally wrong.

read the article.

Re:Airship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32337506)

His totally wrong what?

Why dumb down the article? (2, Insightful)

Keebler71 (520908) | more than 4 years ago | (#32336532)

Once again...thank you "press" for giving us useless measurements... is it's max speed measured in units of cheetah velocity, its volume measured in swimming pools and its weight measured in automobiles?

Re:Why dumb down the article? (1)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 4 years ago | (#32336950)

Let's be fair. They also specified the exact speed, size and payload in both metric and imperial.

Re:Why dumb down the article? (1)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337466)

Do you want it in Library of Congress units? (Well... you knew it was coming)

Units (1, Funny)

codeButcher (223668) | more than 4 years ago | (#32336534)

as long as a 23-floor skyscraper is tall

How many football field lenghts would that be?

Re:Units (2, Funny)

diskofish (1037768) | more than 4 years ago | (#32336616)

.78

Re:Units (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32336876)

Nice.

Now how many "laser chopsticks" is that?

Re:Units (1)

the_other_chewey (1119125) | more than 4 years ago | (#32336636)

as long as a 23-floor skyscraper is tall

How many football field lenghts would that be?

Yes.

Re:Units (4, Funny)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#32336802)

Would that be American or European football fields?

Re:Units (2, Funny)

An ominous Cow art (320322) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337094)

Would that be American or European football fields?

I don't know that. Aaaaggghhh!!!

Re:Units (2, Interesting)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#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

Re:Units (1)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 4 years ago | (#32336756)

American football or Metric football?

Re:Units (2, Funny)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#32336814)

American football or Metric football?

As these were British units of measurement, it was clearly describing the field size for the game not played in Great Britain.

You jest, but... (1)

N0Man74 (1620447) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337202)

American football fields do have end zones, while the other football does not. Does this factor into the estimation for the football field length conversion?

Won't someone please think of the end zones!

Re:Units (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32336974)

360 ft for american football
~390ft for metric football.

The airship is 235ft long.

Correct football field lengths are .65 for American football, .6 for metric football.

Estimation inflation (1)

N0Man74 (1620447) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337154)

TFA actually has the length.

By ignoring the actual length provided in and just relying on trying to calculate an estimation based included in the summary, which itself was used to give a frame of reference regarding the size, you've managed to *cough* inflate the size of this airship from 235 feet (72 m) to 368 feet, or nearly 37 floors! Uh-oh, here we go again!

Re:Units (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337446)

It's a stupid metric, even stupider than normal:

Carlton Towers Apartments [emporis.com] - 30 stories and 248 feet high.

Al Faisaliyah Center [emporis.com] - 30 stories and 875 feet high.

Re:Units (4, Informative)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:Units (1)

cmiller173 (641510) | more than 4 years ago | (#32336864)

You forgot the end zones, an American football field is 120 yards. (235 feet)/(120 yards) = 0.65277777....

Re:Units (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#32336896)

True enough I suppose. Are endzones generally included in "length of a football field" measurements? (not a football fan)

Re:Units (3, Insightful)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 4 years ago | (#32336970)

No. Unless you have a smart ass that wants to get technical on you.

Re:Units (1)

kirill.s (1604911) | more than 4 years ago | (#32336820)

About 0.356 furlongs.

Re:Units (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#32336946)

I expect lots of fanfic about this craft: "1.097 Leagues above the Sea"

Re:Units (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337104)

I expect lots of fanfic about this craft: "1.097 Leagues above the Sea"

Football leagues, I suppose.

Re:Units (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32336966)

That's nice. Can you measure it in cubits?

not largest by any stretch of the imagination (1)

meekg (30651) | more than 4 years ago | (#32336540)

It's a large inflatable ship, but not compared with other lighter-than-air ships - here's one example [airships.net]

Additionally, carrying one ton at 20,000 feet is pathetic, since the propulsion (and power storage) requirements weigh many times that, and if you try to go higher (to reduce the power requirements) than the payload capacity drops as well.

Nothing to see here.

Re:not largest by any stretch of the imagination (1, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32336700)

If you read the article, they kinda explain that it's the largest MODERN airship. IE, actually built and operational. It fully acknowledges that airships "back in the day" were much larger.

Also, propulsion and power storage are not likely included in that 2,000 lb capacity. Aircraft specs typically state a "useful load" figure, which is what it can typically carry with it's own required weight taken off of the max gross weight.

Re:not largest by any stretch of the imagination (1)

tronbradia (961235) | more than 4 years ago | (#32336812)

I think they meant the largest currently existing airship; the article explicitly mentions that the Hindenburg was much larger.

Re:not largest by any stretch of the imagination (3, Insightful)

nacturation (646836) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337244)

It's additionally about the same length as a 747. While saying "the length of a 23 story skyscraper" sounds impressive, it's quite a common thing to have in the sky.

Deju vu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32336542)

They should call it Cargolifter. What could possibly go wrong.

Oblig (0, Offtopic)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 4 years ago | (#32336544)

"as long as a 23-floor skyscraper is tall"

How many libraries of.....

ugh, never mind

Re:Oblig (0)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337522)

As far as I can determine, the Library of Congress is a 5-story building. That means that this is 4.6 LoCs long.

More importantly, it is somewhere on the order of 42 Smoots.

Huh? (5, Informative)

shadow349 (1034412) | more than 4 years ago | (#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:Huh? (3, Funny)

drumcat (1659893) | more than 4 years ago | (#32336692)

Clearly he didn't measure in football fields.

Re:Huh? (4, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#32336746)

It's also clearly not a satellite, as it won't actually be in orbit.

Re:Huh? (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337180)

So, the 'stratellite' is not a satellite and it's not stratospheric.

It'd have been about as correct to call it the Maguilla, for Magma Anguilla, and leave the readers to imagine why on hell would they call it that way.

Re:Huh? (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337602)

I'm thinking "High Altitude Airship" would also be a good term, but it's actually descriptive and not at all clever like inventing a nonsense word composed of the amalgam of two perfectly good words, neither of which even accurately describe the subject.

I think we'll just call it a "Magiragon", which is an mushing together of the words "Magical" and "Dragon". Two other words which do not at all describe this craft, but sound good to 12-year-olds when you smush them together into a single word.

Re:Huh? (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32336764)

It floats somewhere between here and the moon, in other words. ;)

Re:Huh? (-1, Redundant)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 4 years ago | (#32336806)

20,000 / 5280 = 3.78 miles != Stratosphere

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32337052)

Anyone else see the issue?

Yes: "Tropellite", while being technically more accurate, doesn't sound as good as "stratellite".

It's a balloon (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337400)

It isn't a satellite either, the proper name for that thing is "balloon"

Re:It's a balloon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32337758)

It is a Derigible.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derigibles

Re:Huh? (1)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337550)

You mean besides the fact that it only gets 2/3rds as high as a commercial airliner and commercial airliners don't get up in to the stratosphere?

Let the naming ceremony beging (5, Funny)

abbynormal brain (1637419) | more than 4 years ago | (#32336596)

The Great Big Suppository in the Sky

Re:Let the naming ceremony beging (-1, Offtopic)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 4 years ago | (#32336650)

You mean... it would float on Uranus?

Re:Let the naming ceremony beging (1)

Garble Snarky (715674) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337418)

I think it would submerge...

To Create Monster 'Stratellite' (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32336624)

Tokyo is so screwed!

Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32336638)

Why?

Several ideas (0)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#32336664)

The first is that we need something like this to carry water for putting out fires. While it can carry a ton at 20K, it can carry much more at a lower altitude.

The second thought is that this can be used to transmit power as this tech gets developed. It can either take it from space, or from a beam below and then re-distribute it. Where that would be useful is in Afghanistan, or in disaster area. IOW, it would be to our advantage to work this out so that we can beam say 5 or more miles, with at least 60% efficiency.

Didn't we have these 50 years ago? (2, Interesting)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 4 years ago | (#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?

Worlds largets vs TFA (3, Insightful)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 4 years ago | (#32336716)

From the summary

.. become the worlds largest airship..

from TFA

But even the modern record-holder for size dwindles in comparison to airships back in their heyday, such as the 804-foot (245 m) Hindenberg.

There must be some strange use of the word "largest" that I don't understand

Re:Worlds largets vs TFA (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 4 years ago | (#32336792)

Replying to my own comment .. I just realized that both comments are in the same article. So I'l change my statement to be that there are some elements of journalism that I don't understand.

Re:Worlds largets vs TFA (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 4 years ago | (#32336926)

So I'l change my statement to be that there are some elements of journalism that I don't understand.

Actually there seem to be elements of the english language you don't understand, specifically tense. Just because there used to be something larger doesn't mean this isn't the largest currently in existence. What you're confusing is "the largest" for "the largest that ever existed", or the record holder for the largest size. The article is correct. It just doesn't mean what you seem to have thought.

Re:Worlds largets vs TFA (1)

yotto (590067) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337004)

They left out the word "ever" for a reason.

Who's the tallest person in the world? Is it the person who is the tallest right now, or the tallest person who ever lived at any time in history?

Re:Worlds largets vs TFA (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#32336848)

I guess they mean the "largest" that currently exists. Then again its not even close to complete so even that one is pre-mature.

Re:Worlds largets vs TFA (1)

tronbradia (961235) | more than 4 years ago | (#32336956)

There must be some strange use of the word "largest" that I don't understand

Largest as in "Largest currently existing" not "largest ever." For example, I can safely say that Great White sharks are the largest sharks, despite this [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Worlds largets vs TFA (1)

cmiller173 (641510) | more than 4 years ago | (#32336982)

Lets see if I can put it in perspective. Get out your tape measure and go measure the Hindenburg right now. Or any other larger one right now. The story didn't say it was the world largest airship EVER. It is only the largest airship available right now. (for certain narrow definitions of available)

Re:Worlds largets vs TFA (1)

bkr1_2k (237627) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337732)

Generally held usage of "world's largest" implies the title remains such until something larger comes along, not just until that particular thing is "retired".

Semantics aside, the article is clearly wrong on several details that have already been pointed out.

Re:Worlds largets vs TFA (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32337574)

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

This will not PROTECT the environment (3, Insightful)

saurongt (1639029) | more than 4 years ago | (#32336720)

FTFA:

"Our airships are radically different designs that move beyond the performance limitations of traditional blimps or zeppelins by combining advanced technology with simple construction and the ability to fuel with algae, protecting our environment"

Fueling with algae protects the environment as much as buying a Prius. Alternative fuels do not protect the environment, they only reduce the damage slightly.

Re:This will not PROTECT the environment (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337254)

Fueling with algae protects the environment as much as buying a Prius. Alternative fuels do not protect the environment, they only reduce the damage slightly.

Unless it's poisonous algae and it somehow kills all humans.

Or, in the case of the prius... If it's a... hmmm... Decepticon that came to Earth to kill us all!

Ok, ok, I know. My theory makes no sense. The cars were the Autobots.

Re:This will not PROTECT the environment (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337492)

You know, a poisonous algae that killed all humans would be lauded as the savior of the environment by some.

Re:This will not PROTECT the environment (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337638)

I just did so. Your comment makes me now think you disagree.

I took it as a self evident truth. Kill puny hunams -> Environment is happy and can keep on with whatever it was doing before we started all that killing.

Re:This will not PROTECT the environment (1)

Solandri (704621) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337728)

Alternative fuels do not protect the environment, they only reduce the damage slightly.

Depends how you define "damage". If you define it as "people shouldn't undo what nature has done" (ignoring for the moment that basically everything in nature undoes what something else in nature has done) then yeah it damages the environment. OTOH if you define it using a (more sensible IMHO) state-based system, then taking alternative fuel made from algae extracting CO2 from the atmosphere, and converting it back into CO2 just puts you right back at the original state things were in before you ever grew the algae in the first place. So there's no damage done to the environment. You're just (re)using the hydrocarbons as an energy storage and transport medium.

Re:This will not PROTECT the environment (1)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337762)

How does that work, I thought algae were carbon neutral, in that they don't put out more carbon than they sequester. On another note, how possible would it be to build an airship of some kind that keeps itself afloat via internal algae tanks or a coating of algae inside the balloon, needing only injections fo water and whatnot?

Monster (3, Funny)

Propaganda13 (312548) | more than 4 years ago | (#32336810)

Am I the only one that started reading the title thinking they had made a giant airship that looked like Mothra only to be disappointed by the time I finished reading the title?

Re:Monster (1)

spydum (828400) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337028)

No.

Helium or Hydrogen? (4, Interesting)

bmo (77928) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

--
BMO

Re:Helium or Hydrogen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32336994)

Agreed

Good news and Bad news (4, Interesting)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337008)

"and we only have so much helium left"

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

Re:Good news and Bad news (1)

NevarMore (248971) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337316)

So we use the last of the helium on Earth to go to the Moon and get more helium so we can go back to Earth with more helium so we can go back to the Moon. Brilliant!

Re:Good news and Bad news (4, Informative)

Tekfactory (937086) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337468)

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:Helium or Hydrogen? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337058)

Well, depending on the actual risk of explosion and the cost of the balloon and its typical payloads, it might prove uneconomical to use hydrogen. The potential for human tragedy isn't the only consideration. However it's worth crunching the numbers on.

Re:Helium or Hydrogen? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32337262)

the Hindenburg was a thermite fire, not a hydrogen fire

Re:Helium or Hydrogen? (3, Interesting)

mangu (126918) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337544)

the Hindenburg was a thermite fire, not a hydrogen fire

You have been watching too much MacGyver [wikia.com] . 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.

Re:Helium or Hydrogen? (1)

g8oz (144003) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337304)

How about methane from cow farts/Taco Bell bathrooms?

Re:Helium or Hydrogen? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337306)

and we only have so much helium left.

We also "only have so much hydrogen left" since, with the exception of rounding errors, its all industrially produced by steam reforming natural gas, coal, oil, etc. You do the old fashioned "town gas" process, remove the yummy CO and unreacted N2 (and I suppose the one percent or so trace of Ar and friends) and whats left is .... H2. Oh there are some fine details besides that to steam reforming, but thats the basic idea.

So you can fractionally distill He from natgas, probably powered by burning lots of natgas, or you can steam reform natgas to make H2, probably powered by natgas. I'm totally at a loss as to which will "run out" first or which is supposed to be more "environmentally sound-er". I'm guessing on a cubic foot of natgas vs pound of payload lifted basis, He production might use slightly fewer resources, but its a pretty tight race. An excellent homework assignment for the ChemEng slashdot set.

Re:Helium or Hydrogen? (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337514)

No need to start calculating here - He resources are severely limited, as not every natural gas reservoir is containing He in significant concentrations. The best source are still the gas wells in the southern US, though other producers have stepped up their yield lately. Helium will run out long before all gas wells run dry - at which point we still can produce hydrogen from electrolysis or thermolysis. Losing He as a lifting gas for lighter-than-air vehicles is a minor problem. I used to work with He-cooled cryomagnets, which will be a pain in the arse to maintain when you gotta switch to other coolants, probably to hydrogen. That will not only affect labs - think of MRI machines in hospitals. Also, think of its use as inert gas for welding, as component of air mixtures for professional diving and also for air mixtures used in intensive care respirators.

Re:Helium or Hydrogen? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337706)

You can also get hydrogen by hydrolysis fairly efficiently, which of course just shunts the energy renewability issue off someplace else, but means you don't have an issue with trying to maintain a supply of raw material. On an airship, hydrolysis could be a perk, because it'd give you a way to turn ballast into lifting gas plus breathing gas in an emergency situation.

Obligatory Russian joke: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32336892)

Fuck, Slashdot can't understand cyrillic!

Re:Obligatory Russian joke: (0, Offtopic)

Kiuas (1084567) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337048)

But in Soviet Russia, the cyrrillic alphabets understand Slashdot.

Airvertising in the near future? (2, Interesting)

blankoboy (719577) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:Airvertising in the near future? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337092)

As long as it's just a Geisha commercial, then it's OK.

Re:Airvertising in the near future? (1)

blankoboy (719577) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337122)

But then it becomes a Geisha selling viagra and penis enlargements.

Re:Airvertising in the near future? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32337152)

Yeah, they might put crazy stuff like "Budweiser" on the side and fly it around outdoor sporting events!

Re:Airvertising in the near future? (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337282)

If these huge airships become common place you can bet that it will not be long until we have 'airvertising'

You must have a pretty damn good sight.

I Dub Thee.... (1)

Theoboley (1226542) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337332)

Hindenburg 2.0

Destined to Fail

God Bless our Government Funding (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32337584)

Well, if it creates all those jobs in Alabama, it obviously qualified for TARP money!!!!

And it is green!!!

Two for the price of one.

any editing at all? (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 4 years ago | (#32337748)

"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."

- it is a single sentence, one fucking sentence. How difficult is is to proofread one stinking sentence? I may make construct an unreadable sentence in my comments, I may make grammatical or syntax errors, but it is a comment, not a story on the front page.

What the fuck is "as long as a 23-foot skyscraper is tall"?

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