Zeppelin company grounded by costs San Francisco Chronicle Copyright 2012 San Francisco Chronicle. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Published 1:21 p.m., Thursday, November 15, 2012 Airship Ventures, the Mountain View company that took passengers on joy rides in what it billed as the world's largest passenger airship, the Zeppelin Eureka, is closing, the firm said Thursday. Company officials said they would cease operations out of Moffett Field immediately and plan to provide refunds to customers who have already booked flights. Typically, the craft cruised at 35 to 40 miles per hour and provided passengers with such air views as wine country, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland and Seattle. Besides the tourism business, the Eureka was used on government missions - NASA used it for a meteorite-seeking assignment over Sacramento and Sonoma - and by science and environmental research groups.