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Inflatable

— Space

NASA tests flying saucer designed to land heavier payloads on Mars

By - July 1, 2014 4 Pictures
NASA has successfully carried out the first of three airborne tests for its Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD), a saucer shaped test vehicle which will one day be used to slow down scientific payloads entering the atmosphere of Mars. This new system of atmospheric deceleration will allow the agency to contemplate heavier, more ambitious endeavors, building towards a manned mission to the Red Planet. Read More
— Marine

Air bags could keep sinking ships afloat

By - June 27, 2014 1 Picture
The European Union has invested in a project designed to keep damaged ships stable and afloat by means of airbag-like balloons. It is hoped that the new system, developed under the Su Sy project, will give emergency services extra time to evacuate stricken ships, minimizing the devastating losses of life synonymous with the sinking of cruise ships such as the Costa Concordia, and the South Korean ferry Sewol, which sank earlier this year. Read More
— Architecture

New construction technique allows concrete domes to be "popped up"

By - June 11, 2014 7 Pictures
There probably aren't many domed concrete structures where you live, and there's a reason for that – they're difficult to build. Doing so usually requires the construction of a supporting wooden structure, that holds the concrete in place while it hardens. Now, however, a team at the Vienna University of Technology has devised a system that allows concrete shell structures to simply be "inflated" and cinched together with a steel cable. Read More
— Space

Inflatable flying saucers could help spacecraft land on Mars

By - May 13, 2014 6 Pictures
It's tough to slow down spacecraft descending through Mars' thin atmosphere at supersonic speeds, as they need to drop to a speed that allows them to land in one piece. This is why NASA is developing lightweight inflatable flying saucers that will fit around the outer rims of spacecraft such as human habitats, inflating as the habitats descend to permit a safe landing. The technology will allow astronauts to land bigger and heavier spacecraft on Mars without needing to carry massive atmospheric shields or huge amounts of extra fuel. Read More
— Environment

Altaeros set to break world record with 1,000 foot-high floating wind turbine

By - April 6, 2014 14 Pictures
Winds are stronger and steadier at higher altitudes, that’s why the Buoyant Air Turbine (BAT) from Altaeros is pushing to be the highest wind turbine in history. Already tested to 500 feet off the ground in 45 mph winds, this helium-filled shell with a wind turbine in the middle is soon shooting for a world record 1,000 ft float. Packing down into a shipping container for transport, the BAT is being proposed as a quickly deployable tethered power source for remote areas and emergency zones. Read More
— Outdoors

Aesent four-man dome tent features a built-in air mattress

By - March 18, 2014 5 Pictures
Inflatable tents are nothing new, with offerings such as the Wedge, the Cave and the Kelty Mach 6 built around inflatable frames to speed up pitching times. But Utah-based start-up Aescent is turning things upside down with its four-man domed tent that features an inflatable mattress built into the base to provide a comfortable place to rest your weary bones after a day's hiking. Read More

Artwork lets users climb around huge cube of ropes

Cultured arachnid fans are in for a treat with a new artwork from Vienna-based collective Numen. String is a 3D grid of ropes suspended within a huge inflated cube. Users can enter the exhibit and clamber their way around its intricate mesh in a blank and disorientating environment. Read More
— Marine

DinghyGo 2 inflatable 3-in-1 sailboat swims via wind, rowing or motor

By - January 22, 2014 7 Pictures
There's a reason that they say the two good days of boat ownership are the day you buy it and the day you sell it. In addition to spending thousands on the boat itself, you're looking at dock fees, trailer equipment, boat parking at home, maintenance ... the expenses go on and on. Dutch outfit Aquacrafts employs inflatable design to help cut down on some of those expenses, offering a sailboat that's much easier to transport and store. The 3-in-1 boat can also float under man and motor power. Read More
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