SUMMARY: NASA's remotely piloted Helios aircraft was destroyed on Thursday when it broke up over the Pacific Ocean near the Hawaiian Islands. The Helios is a large flying covered with solar cells which is designed to fly at very high altitudes for very long durations - it broke the world altitude record when it reached 29,500 metres in August, 2001. In the future, fleets of these aircraft could replace the services of satellites for a fraction of the cost. The cause of the accident isn't known.
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