NASA goes back to the future: airships

NASA may no longer be flying space shuttles, but it is set to put another craft into the skies … airships.

The US agency is building airships it believes will revolutionise the transport of cargo around the world, with its first prototype set to take off next year, London’s Daily Telegraph reported.

“One of NASA’s jobs is to solve the nation’s air transportation challenges with research, and airships haven’t seen much research in the past few decades,” said Dr Pete Worden, the director of NASA research arm Ames at an airship conference in Alaska last month.

NASA hopes airships become the new freight transporters of the 21st century.

Cargo by air … a model of Hybrid Air Vehicles’ airships. NASA hopes airships will become the new freight transporters of the 21st century.

NASA hopes airships will become the new freight transporters of the 21st century, replacing trucks and trains and allowing heavy cargo to be flown into areas where rough terrain or poor infrastructure rules out ground travel.

“Initially we are expecting to be able to lift tens of tonnes and we are building a demonstrator that we hope to fly at the end of next year,” he told the Telegraph.”In the long run, I think it could be used for many forms of cargo transport. One of the ideas that people have looked at is that these things can go up to hundreds of tonnes. We will have those by the end of the decade.”

via NASA goes back to the future: airships.

So these things are kind of exciting, in that they should hopefully bring down international shipping costs significantly. But more importantly, they LOOK FUCKING COOL!

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