NASA Ames to host world's largest airship

In a new partnership with E-Green Technologies, the Mountain View, Calif., NASA facility will host a 235-foot-long and 65-foot-wide airship that runs on algae-based biofuel.

This is a 125-foot Bullet Class 580 airship. The airship that will be housed at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif., will be 235 feet long. E-Green Technologies

If you like big and green, NASA's Ames Research Center will soon have something for you: the world's largest and greenest airship.

The space agency announced today that the Mountain View, Calif., research center's Moffett Field will soon play host to a mammoth 265-foot-long and 65-foot-diameter airship from Kellyton, Ala.'s E-Green Technologies. The Bullet Class 580 will be developed and tested at Ames in 24,000 square feet of Ames' famous Hangar 2.

The new airship, which has a planned first flight date of early 2011, is expected to run on algae-based biofuel, and fly at speeds of up to 75 miles an hour at altitudes of up to 20,000 feet.

Ames and Moffett Field are becoming a hotbed for airships. Already, the facility is the home of Airship Ventures , and its own giant zeppelin. And, of course, Moffett Field has a storied history of hosting airships, stretching back to 1933, when the U.S. Navy's Zeppelin ZRS-5 785-foot-long zeppelin resided there.

The U.S. Navy Zeppelin ZRS-5, also known as the Macon, which was berthed at Moffett Field starting in 1933. NASA

The E-Green Technologies Bullet Class 580 is expected to fly with "a joint NASA Langley Research Center and Old Dominion University payload, the Radar Oxygen Barometric Sensor Project, a remote sensing instrument for measuring barometric pressure at sea level--an important meteorological measurement in the prediction and forecasting of tropical storms and hurricanes."

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Daniel Terdiman is a senior writer at CNET News covering Twitter, Net culture, and everything in between.

 

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