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The Aerobe blimp may never make it beyond the drawing board, but scientists are seriously considering using it to fly over uncharted planets and over moons that contain atmospheres--such as Mars, or Saturn's Titan. The model would be about 33 feet long and filled with helium. The blimp would have a propeller, which would let it move at about six miles per hour, and it would also have wheels that would let it land if necessary.
Lockheed Martin developed this high-altitude 56,000-cubic-foot tethered aerostat surveillance system for deployment in Iraq. The aerostats, equipped with various sensors, will provide a persistent surveillance capability for the defense of ground forces and high-value assets in Baghdad.
The military is currently testing the use of small, inexpensive balloons to increase communications range. In combat areas, radios now have a range of 10 miles, but balloons could extend that to about 400 miles.