NASA, Alaska Officials See New Uses for Airships

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

The head of NASA's Ames Research Center in California says an old flight technology is on the verge of making a major comeback.

S. Pete Worden says the lighter-than-air aircraft industry -- commonly known as blimps or airships -- is about to take off because of the applications for science and for delivering cargo to hard-to-reach destinations.

Worden spoke Wednesday at a workshop in Anchorage that brought together airship builders and Alaska industry representatives who might be able to use them for deliveries to remote sites.

Worden says NASA is interested in offering its research expertise to the fledgling industry.

Alaska Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell says Alaska is a ready-made market for testing airship technology. He says the state's 200 villages off the road system need lower-cost deliveries.

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