Could airships be the future of air travel?
Features Friday, January 09, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | January 3, 2015 | 3:15 pm IST NASA has recently called for designs of an airship that can fly at altitudes higher than the currrent 65,000-foot limit for weather balloons and for longer than the existing ones. Such airships could aid scientists in research on astronomy and climate change and even be more capable than weather balloons. An airship could carry telescopes into the stratosphere to observe stars and other celestial bodies. "You would be able to follow weather patterns, even get above a hurricane," said Jason Rhodes, astrophysicist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in California, who is leading the proposed challenge. "A satellite can not do that because its orbit can't be changed," Jason pointed out. But the use of airships is not just limited to study weather patterns. NASA feels that airships could be the mode of transportation for the future, running on clean energy while compared to planes today. Several other aerospace companies see modern airships as a low-carbon future for the cargo industry. Environmentalists agree that sustainable airships could promise a clean future of transportation and surveillance - Promoting an eco friendly lifestyle to save the environment. That its not all. "Blimps" as the airships are also known as could also hover above the horizon near conflict zones, feeding real time radar data to troops from high above. With inputs from IANS Tweet