Negotiating the Stratosphere

From the article: An engineering company has developed a system that may offer some control over NASA’s high-altitude weather balloons. The control device, called StratoSail, consists of a spar from which an 8-foot rudder and an 18-foot wing hang. The developer, Global Aerospace Corp. of Altadena, Calif., has tested a miniature version from a tethered blimp. The company’s president, Kerry Nock, said […]

Mars Balloon Could Offer Supersharp, Superfast Surveys

From the article: A balloon-based spacecraft could survey Mars with rover-level detail in a fraction of the time it takes with ground-based vehicles, scientists say. The U.S. space agency’s celebrated Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, have each roamed several miles during nearly two years on the planet’s surface. Their mission has been an unqualified success, providing breathtaking images and important data. Read […]

Main Belt Transportation System?

From the article: At the 10-11 June annual meeting of NASA’s Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC), Global Aerospace Corporation (GCA) delivered a status report on its phase II concept study, “Cyclical Visits to Mars via Astronaut Hotels” (GCA calls them “AstroTels”). Funded through next January by NIAC, the concept in development is a way to cost-effectively service a small […]