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NASA celebrates return of the Zeppelin

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Semi rigid

The semi-rigid frame of the German-made Zeppelin is about twice the length of (flaccid) blimps that Goodyear flies. It's operated by a crew of three, carries up to 12 passengers, and flies at an average speed of 35mph. Airship Ventures said it will charge passengers about $500 for an hour's ride.

NASA's Ames Center director Pete Wordon congratulated the company for bringing "airship flight back home where it belongs." He said lighter-than-air flying still offers fresh applications, like cleaner transportation, an ability to lift heavy loads, and a good vehicle to make climate and water quality observations.

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