NASA Airship Could Watch The Stars Without The Need Of a Rocket

Artist's concept of a NASA airship that would fly at a suborbital altitudes for hours at a time. Credit: Mike Hughes (Eagre Interactive)/Keck Institute for Space Studies

Artist’s concept of a NASA airship that would fly at a suborbital altitudes for hours at a time. Credit: Mike Hughes (Eagre Interactive)/Keck Institute for Space Studies

Dreams of space are often tied to jet engines or solar sails or taking a ride on a rocketship. But it’s often quite efficient to do research from Earth, especially from the high reaches of the atmosphere where there are few molecules to get in the way of observations.

NASA wants to do more of this kind of astronomy with an airship — but at an extreme height of 65,000 feet (20 kilometers) for 20 hours. No powered-airship mission has managed to last past eight hours at this height because of the winds in that zone, but NASA is hoping that potential creators would be up to the challenge.

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Read the rest of NASA Airship Could Watch The Stars Without The Need Of a Rocket (239 words)


© Elizabeth Howell for Universe Today, 2014. |
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