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posted by charon on Thursday March 30 2017, @05:28AM   Printer-friendly
from the but-why? dept.

Designers Ostap Rudakevych and Masayuki Sono have unveiled a design for a skyscraper that would hang from an orbiting asteroid:

Clouds Architecture Office has unveiled plans for a futuristic skyscraper dubbed the "Analemma Tower." The building would hover majestically above the ground because it would be attached -- wait for it -- to an actual asteroid, in space, that is forcibly put into orbit around the earth.

If that's not enough to digest, consider that your exact address in this pendulous pad could be anywhere on Earth. The tower will be suspended via high-strength cabling from an asteroid and placed in "eccentric geosynchronous orbit". In other words, it would be always moving -- residents and visitors would take a daily journey between the northern and southern hemispheres with a prolonged visit over a main "home" point like New York City or Dubai (it's always New York City or Dubai, isn't it?)

[...] Analemma Tower's designer Ostap Rudakevych told CNN that the tower could be made of durable and lightweight materials such as carbon fiber and aluminum. Advances in cable engineering would be needed to achieve the cable strength required to support the structure. Power would come from space based solar panels that have a constant exposure to sunlight. Water for the tower will be captured from clouds and rainwater and maintained in a semi-closed loop system.
As proposed the top of the tower sits at 32,000m and would be expected to reach speeds of 300mph as it travels through the sky.

Elysium 1.0?

Also at NBC and BGR.


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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 30 2017, @05:57AM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 30 2017, @05:57AM (#486350)

    I wish all that creativity was directed at solving more immediate problems...

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 30 2017, @07:22AM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 30 2017, @07:22AM (#486365)

      I think in general this is almost always a well intentioned but not necessarily logical view.

      There will always be other problems to solve. And progress in one area opens up unexpected frontiers in another. Think about how many completely serendipitous discoveries there have been of all sorts. When I was younger I looked on Larry Page's comments that he'd rather donate his billions to Elon Musk than charity as a disgusting example of some sort of cruel greed and example of out of touch billionaires. In reality I was stupid, and he was right. Gates trying to cure malaria is great headlines, but in the end it will be unlikely to change much. The primary source for malaria is sub-saharan Africa which has something like 90% of the cases and 90% of the deaths of malaria. Overcome malaria and the problem shifts to AIDS, or overpopulation, or violence, or regional instability, and so on. And of course this concept is not relegated to undeveloped areas. Now in America obesity and lethargy induced disease have become major issues at the same time that these very people invent ever more issues to be upset and hate and even kill each other over. There will always be problems. And solving one problem rarely makes clear progress, but just opens up new problems.

      And so while I do think we should tackle problems, we are incapable of determining where the major benefits will come from. Even war has paradoxical gains. One can only imagine how many years of human life have been extended by chemo therapy, which was of course was discovered thanks to the World Wars and us trying to kill each other with chemical weapons. And again to be clear I'm obviously not evangelizing war (for any reason) there, but rather emphasizing the serendipitous nature of grand discoveries. Consequently, I think we should never push back against an idea just because it doesn't fit into our myopic understanding of 'progress.' What good could come from people floating around in exclusive buildings above Earth? Well if you think it might be more beneficial than us trying to kill each other with mustard gas, then perhaps something quite grand indeed!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 30 2017, @07:54AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 30 2017, @07:54AM (#486372)

        Thank you for one of the wisest, most insightful, and inspiring posts I've ever seen. You're completely correct. I still wish there was more collective and coordinated effort toward conquering diseases, etc. And probably the truth is that some people are just wired to design asteroid-hanging buildings and may not be great at much else.

        • (Score: 2) by PiMuNu on Thursday March 30 2017, @08:56AM

          by PiMuNu (3823) on Thursday March 30 2017, @08:56AM (#486394)

          FTFA this guy isn't very good at designing asteroid-hanging buildings either.

      • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Thursday March 30 2017, @02:59PM

        by tangomargarine (667) on Thursday March 30 2017, @02:59PM (#486489)
        --
        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday March 31 2017, @04:25AM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 31 2017, @04:25AM (#486929) Journal

        Gates trying to cure malaria is great headlines, but in the end it will be unlikely to change much. The primary source for malaria is sub-saharan Africa which has something like 90% of the cases and 90% of the deaths of malaria. Overcome malaria and the problem shifts to AIDS, or overpopulation, or violence, or regional instability, and so on.

        The thing about malaria is not the deaths, but the crippling disabilities. A single bout by itself can cause in extreme causes permanent physical and mental disability. But on top of that, you can apparently catch a chronic form of the disease that results in recurring bouts of illness over the course of decades.

        It's worth noting that most of Gates's targets are of this sort, diseases or parasites that cause long term disability and impairment. These really are beneficial to eliminate even in a high fertility population because they lower the productivity of a population much more than they lower the population growth rate. And wealthy societies are the number one way to reduce a high population growth rate to sustainable levels.

  • (Score: 1) by butthurt on Thursday March 30 2017, @05:57AM

    by butthurt (6141) on Thursday March 30 2017, @05:57AM (#486351) Journal

    It isn't Saturday anywhere in the world yet.

    http://dateandtime.info/index.php [dateandtime.info]

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by butthurt on Thursday March 30 2017, @06:10AM (10 children)

    by butthurt (6141) on Thursday March 30 2017, @06:10AM (#486352) Journal

    If it's to be in something like a geosynchronous orbit, it would be similar to a space elevator. The massive structure hanging from the cable will require more tensile strength in the cable than would a design without such a structure.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_elevator [wikipedia.org]

    A skyhook could be in a lower orbit, hence it could be smaller.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skyhook_%28structure%29 [wikipedia.org]

    All are types of space tether.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_tether [wikipedia.org]

    • (Score: 1) by anubi on Thursday March 30 2017, @06:14AM (9 children)

      by anubi (2828) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 30 2017, @06:14AM (#486354)

      Even though it sounds really neat, I am a little concerned about hovering it over a populated area.

      Sword of Damocles kinda thing.

      A single point of failure, whether accidental or deliberate, along the cable would have devastating result.

      --
      "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by c0lo on Thursday March 30 2017, @07:14AM (8 children)

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 30 2017, @07:14AM (#486363)

        Even though it sounds really neat, I am a little concerned about hovering it over a populated area.

        Even if it wouldn't hover over a populated area, if the failure of the cable at distal end - close to the asteroid - the fall of the cable will cause massive destruction; the sudden loss of the asteroid counter-weight will transform the cable into a 32,000 to 50,000km long whip, lashing around the Earth circumference (40,030 km) at orbital speeds - towards the end, the whip will look the same way as meteorites blazing across the sky: on fire.

        I think Chelyabinsk or even Tunguska may appear as a pale joke in comparison with the full cable fall.
        Which, btw, brings the following question into attention: where this whole energy come from? Could it be, for instance, that this energy is equivalent with the total energy expenditure to build the cable in the first place?

        • (Score: 1) by anubi on Thursday March 30 2017, @08:53AM (1 child)

          by anubi (2828) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 30 2017, @08:53AM (#486391)

          Ouch!

          I wasn't even thinking of cable whiplash combined with the rotation of the Earth. Damn good point you brought up.

          All I saw right then was a replay of 9-11 involving some faction messing with the cable.

          Funny, I used to work a lot with cables in the oil industry, and a severed whiplashing cable was a major safety concern.

          --
          "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
          • (Score: 2) by ragequit on Thursday March 30 2017, @05:03PM

            by ragequit (44) on Thursday March 30 2017, @05:03PM (#486591) Journal

            Didn't something similar to this happen in Red Mars? (the book)

            --
            The above views are fabricated for your reading pleasure.
        • (Score: 2) by jimtheowl on Thursday March 30 2017, @02:52PM (4 children)

          by jimtheowl (5929) on Thursday March 30 2017, @02:52PM (#486482)
          "Could it be, for instance, that this energy is equivalent with the total energy expenditure to build the cable in the first place?"

          If by 'building' the cable you mean the manufacturing, no. If you mean the energy used to put it into place, mostly.

          As lifting a bowling ball off the floor and dropping it, potential energy is stored and then turned back into kinetic energy. This ludicrous contraption is a bit more complex but that is essentially the idea.
          • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday March 30 2017, @10:05PM (3 children)

            by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 30 2017, @10:05PM (#486773)

            If by 'building' the cable you mean the manufacturing, no.

            Apologies, my wrong choice of words there.

            Though... it's not entirely false - as the cable burns (as in "combines with oxygen") due to the heat of atmospheric friction/impact, there will be some extra energy on top of the gravitational potential. But yeah, not the entire energy that went into the manufacturing it.

            The interesting point here is: "to manufacture and lift the cable cannot be lower than the gravitational potential. Given that you can calculate this potential energy, establish the minimal energy necessary to have the cable in place. Then express this energy in total energy consumption of the world/year" terms. It would be interesting to see this comparison, it sorta give an idea of the minimal cost to run this project.

            • (Score: 2) by jimtheowl on Friday March 31 2017, @02:00PM (2 children)

              by jimtheowl (5929) on Friday March 31 2017, @02:00PM (#487078)
              You are correct in observing that there may be 'burning', but whether that translates into a mostly exothermic vs endothermic reaction depends on the materials. Also worth pointing out that even if there were no oxygen (or if the atmosphere was made of a noble gaz for that matter), the friction on re-entry would cause heat radiation and (and disintegration as in molecules being separated, not disappearing) which is not due to a chemical reaction but to the initial potential energy.

              I'm not sure why you would express this energy in 'world/year' term. There may be energy used to maintain the stability of the system (which is much more than the cable) over time, but as far as the initial energy required to put the system in place, that is it.
              • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Friday March 31 2017, @06:46PM (1 child)

                by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 31 2017, @06:46PM (#487235)
                I'm not sure why you would express this energy in 'world/year' term.

                Because it gives an idea about the cost of building/raising the cable in terms similar to "libraries of Congress", "surface of Texas" or "Olympic swimming pools".
                Or how many years worth of world energy one needs to sacrifice to build a skyscraper hooked to the sky.
                Or how many years worth of world energy this would release over a day of falling back to Earth.

                • (Score: 2) by jimtheowl on Sunday April 02 2017, @04:24AM

                  by jimtheowl (5929) on Sunday April 02 2017, @04:24AM (#487819)
                  Ok - thanks for the explanation.

                  I do not tend to think in those terms myself because I do not see it as a constant, but I suppose it may provide an intuitive frame of reference.
        • (Score: 2) by WillR on Thursday March 30 2017, @03:29PM

          by WillR (2012) on Thursday March 30 2017, @03:29PM (#486512)
          And the asteroid (possibly with humans on board, if the cable end and solar power station need regular maintenance) will fly off with enough velocity to leave the solar system.

          If you haven't read Kim Stanley Robinson's Red/Blue/Green Mars trilogy, there's a great description of what would happen if a space elevator cable were to come crashing down...
  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 30 2017, @06:51AM (8 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 30 2017, @06:51AM (#486358)

    To start with since this building would be atmospheric it wouldn't be orbiting. Air resistance makes atmospheric orbits impossible. Our skyscraper is going to be constantly slowing thanks to air resistance and exert a consequently downward/backward force on its orbiting anchor. So let's get to the specifics. I decided to check out 101955 Bennu [wikipedia.org] for a random anchor possibility. That's the target of OSIRIS-REx and a big boy. We're looking at 60 billion kg mass from a 500 meter diameter. How heavy is a skyscraper? No idea. I'll take Mr. Man Parvesh Singh Randhawa at his word [quora.com] when he gave a response of about 222,500 tons of WEIGHT (as opposed to mass). That's about a 200 million kg downward force at the bare minimum ignoring the backward forces thanks to the air resistance.

    Okay, so now we have a = f/m. So the downward acceleration of our meteor is going to be 200 million / 60 billion = 0.003 m/s/s.

    So now we have the downward acceleration. Naturally as the meteor starts accelerating downward so too will our skyscraper. So let's calculate the time to impact. We know it's orbiting at 32,000 meters so we have:

    32000 = 0.5 * 0.003 * t^2
    t = sqrt(32000 / (0.5 * 0.003)) = 4618 seconds

    Put another way our skyscraper will be crashing into the earth about 77 minutes after it starts 'orbiting'. And hopefully we haven't distorted the anchor's orbit enough to change it to suborbital. If we did then get ready for a much bigger boom to follow. I'm simplifying the math by assuming it has a horizontal velocity of 0 at the start and so I can use its downward force as a direct downward force on the anchor, but air resistance will ensure that eventually anyhow unless we're talking about a giant skyscraper with giant engines.

    • (Score: 1) by Scruffy Beard 2 on Thursday March 30 2017, @07:11AM (2 children)

      by Scruffy Beard 2 (6030) on Thursday March 30 2017, @07:11AM (#486360)

      Checked TFA, and learned that it was crazier than I imagined from the summary. At the heights shown in the renderings, it will interfere with air-traffic. If you can get the base that low to the ground, a space-elevator is in our future as well.

      The answer is that Architects come up with fantastic ideas, then the structural engineers tell them what they need to change. I am not a structural engineer, but IMO the bottom of the tower can not dip lower than 40,000 ft or so (in order to avoid air-traffic -- neglecting strength calculations)

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 30 2017, @08:06AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 30 2017, @08:06AM (#486377)

        Can't the air traffic just avoid it, like they avoid the thousands of other moving objects tracked by air traffic control daily? Analenema Tower can get a special skull and crossbones symbol for its blip.

      • (Score: 2) by TheRaven on Thursday March 30 2017, @11:03AM

        by TheRaven (270) on Thursday March 30 2017, @11:03AM (#486424) Journal

        Checked TFA, and learned that it was crazier than I imagined from the summary. At the heights shown in the renderings, it will interfere with air-traffic. If you can get the base that low to the ground, a space-elevator is in our future as well.

        If you could build it (big if!), then it would actually be more interesting than a space elevator. That low and you could get very cheap (in energy terms) flights up to the base, but you could also have it meander around a bit, so the total cost of getting to the bottom terminus would end up being cheaper than getting people and cargo to the base of a fixed equatorial anchor point. The energy cost of getting up the elevator would be slightly lower, but not significantly.

        --
        sudo mod me up
    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday March 30 2017, @07:21AM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 30 2017, @07:21AM (#486364) Journal

      Okay, so now we have a = f/m. So the downward acceleration of our meteor is going to be 200 million / 60 billion = 0.003 m/s/s.

      The problem is f=0 here. The whole point of having it suspended from a tether is to counter the force of gravity. The actual drag would come from the motion of the cylinder in that figure eight pattern through upper atmosphere which it will trace out in 24 hours. That's significant drag, but something you could engineer against by having some good thrusters on your counterweight in deep space - a detail that architects aren't too worried about.

    • (Score: 2) by butthurt on Thursday March 30 2017, @08:10AM

      by butthurt (6141) on Thursday March 30 2017, @08:10AM (#486379) Journal

      A geostationary satellite is always above an unchanging point on the Equator, because its orbital period matches the Earth's rotation.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geostationary_orbit [wikipedia.org]

      Now imagine unfurling two cables from such a satellite, one cable going farther out into space and one trailing downward toward the Earth's surface. The cable going downward will tend to pull the satellite down, but the cable going upward will tend to pull it up. Add a heavy object on the upward end, and the upward force increases. With strong enough cables, it ought to be possible to have a structure of that sort that is geostationary and doesn't fall: a space elevator. The low end of the cable would be in the atmosphere, but wouldn't be moving relative to the Earth's surface. The foremost reason we don't have such structures is that we don't know how to make cables that are strong enough. Theoretically it should be possible. Having a "skyscraper" at the lower end would increase the tension on the cable still more, in comparison to a conventional space elevator.

      I don't understand the orbit this thing would have (some of the pages don't open properly for me) but you're right when you say that its motion through the atmosphere would cause loss of energy. It could be replenished, I suppose. With a truly geostationary orbit that would be much less of a problem. Not anchoring the lower end to the Earth doesn't make the structure impossible, but the inconvenience of having to fly to it and the need to keep the end at a high altitude so mountains could be cleared would seem to outweigh whatever advantage its motion is supposed to have. I gather from the summary that the purposes of the structure are not to send people or objects into space but to provide transportation from one spot on Earth to another and to provide lodging with nice views. Living aboard a zeppelin would be a far more practical way to achieve that.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 30 2017, @09:15AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 30 2017, @09:15AM (#486400)

      We'll just use more duct tape. Obviously you're not an engineer.

    • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Thursday March 30 2017, @12:45PM

      by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 30 2017, @12:45PM (#486443) Journal

      Thanks for doing the math. I had the same thought, "Won't atmospheric drag on the building either cause the asteroid to de-orbit as it slows, or rip the building off the asteroid thanks to shearing forces?" Or perhaps it would cause the whole thing to start spinning around the asteroid as the skyscraper whacks into the atmosphere, like the handle of a sledge hammer hitting a tree while the head wants to keep moving forward.

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 1) by Type44Q on Thursday March 30 2017, @05:05PM

      by Type44Q (4347) on Thursday March 30 2017, @05:05PM (#486592)

      Geosync is pretty high up; perhaps they're planning to Dangle their Dingleberry sufficiently high above the upper atmosphere? No, I didn't read TFA but this could be viable...

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by khallow on Thursday March 30 2017, @07:11AM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 30 2017, @07:11AM (#486361) Journal
    The weight of the building would make this a harder project than an early stage space elevator. The cable would have to be considerably thicker to hold up that much mass. And the bottom part of the building drags through the troposphere. That means you have interactions with weather and air travel that a static space elevator wouldn't have - such as the building being dragged through a large thunderstorm or potential collisions with aircraft.

    But the worst thing is the vulnerability of the tether to strikes in orbit, particularly strikes around the center of gravity of the system which by necessity has to pretty far out, about 37,000 km (around the radius of geosynchronous orbit or GSO). For a small space elevator, most of it will burn up in atmosphere aside from a little bit near the anchor point on Earth. But the thicker, more massive tether for this building is much more likely to survive to impact Earth's surface, wrapping around Earth multiple times and imparting the energy equivalent of a good-sized nuclear war in the process. And given the tether system's migration latitude-wise, that's a lot of unpredictability as to what areas would be affected (as in obliterated) compared to a space elevator with a fixed anchor point on Earth.

    For example, just consider the building itself. It's 24 km long with an average height of 20 km. Assume that the empty building is a mere one metric ton (Mt) per 10 meters, then you have a mass of 2400 Mt, dropped 20 km. That's roughly half a trillion joules or 100 metric tons of TNT, just by itself. I'll note here that the people in the building will probably be 25-100 per 10 meters as well when fully loaded. That would be by itself, somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 to 8 metric tons per 10 meters which adds another 200 to 800 metric tons of TNT to the mix.

    Let's suppose with people, that the total mass of the building is around 20k Mt. This is the low energy part of the problem. Now you need a 37,000 km cable capable of supporting both the mass of the building and more importantly, the mass of the cable. From Wikipedia, we have this [wikipedia.org]:

    One plan for construction uses conventional rockets to place a "minimum size" initial seed cable of only 19,800 kg.[2] This first very small ribbon would be adequate to support the first 619 kg climber. The first 207 climbers would carry up and attach more cable to the original, increasing its cross section area and widening the initial ribbon to about 160 mm wide at its widest point. The result would be a 750-ton cable with a lift capacity of 20 tons per climber.

    Ignoring that it may not be possible to get a tether material this strong, we're looking at 750 Mt cable to support 20 tons. The mass of the cable is proportional to the desired support mass. So we would need a 750k Mt cable of this material to support a 20,000 Mt building, roughly half of which would be at our cutoff point. The center of gravity of the segment cut off at 37,000 km (the physical tether length would be longer than that since it would trail out to the west as it ascends) would be somewhere around 15,000-20,000 km above Earth and supposed that it's half the mass of the cable. I figure a few megatons just of potential energy would come slamming down on Earth with some considerable additional energy coming from the kinetic energy of the higher part which has near orbital velocity and will wrap around Earth like a yo yo.

    So while it's an interesting design experiment, it has huge liabilities from the possibility for global catastrophe that aren't present in normal buildings. If I were to build a 24 km high building, it wouldn't be capable of harming anything directly outside of the local region. No matter how bad the disaster, my building in Dubai isn't going to wipe out Delhi or Hong Kong. But with a massive tether wrapping around Earth multiple times (with movement perpendicular to the equator), it might be possible to nail both even though they aren't at the same latitude.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 30 2017, @07:38AM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 30 2017, @07:38AM (#486369)

    Seriously?

    • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Thursday March 30 2017, @07:54AM (3 children)

      by aristarchus (2645) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 30 2017, @07:54AM (#486371) Journal

      Seriously! Choose between high, low colonic, or, geostationary La Grange. It is all the same to us, since we are a capitalist company, and as long as you pay in advance, . . . . .

      --
      If you could ensure that your submissions are balanced, accurate and unbiased, you might stand a better chance
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 30 2017, @08:16AM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 30 2017, @08:16AM (#486382)

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analemma [wikipedia.org]

        They're speaking your language! Sad!

        • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Thursday March 30 2017, @08:24AM

          by aristarchus (2645) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 30 2017, @08:24AM (#486385) Journal

          Sad? You say that like you think I did not know! Very sad. (Oh, while we are "on it", so to speak, put an "or" between the geostationary and La Grange, as they are not remotely the same things.)

          --
          If you could ensure that your submissions are balanced, accurate and unbiased, you might stand a better chance
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 30 2017, @09:59AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 30 2017, @09:59AM (#486411)

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analemma

          Oh so just another english word with the anal in it. Sorry my bad.

          But (butt?)... while we are "on it" so to spake. The shape of that solar analemma is reminiscent of the overall impression given by a woman's vulva and anus. Also the wikipedia article does specify:

          , it can be applied to other celestial bodies as well.

          just saying...

  • (Score: 2) by Rivenaleem on Thursday March 30 2017, @08:02AM (1 child)

    by Rivenaleem (3400) on Thursday March 30 2017, @08:02AM (#486374)

    While everyone's talking about the cables required to support this thing, I'm wondering how people get on and off it. Not like you can stop the asteroid to let people off, and if it is travelling at 300 mph, will you be able to stand out on a balcony, or just open a window anywhere? How do you stop birds smooshing into it all the time? What happens if the building passes through a tropical storm?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 30 2017, @08:11AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 30 2017, @08:11AM (#486380)

      Use a railgun to shoot spherical people from the ground. They arc into a shaft at the top of the asteroid and fall into the funerary section at the top (it's real, check the plans).

  • (Score: 2) by inertnet on Thursday March 30 2017, @09:26AM (1 child)

    by inertnet (4071) on Thursday March 30 2017, @09:26AM (#486404)

    Apart from all the other problems, the whole thing needs to be pressurized and heated, so those nice big rectangular windows are not going to happen. Also, people at the higher levels would be subjected to all kinds of radiation, even without those enormous windows.

    • (Score: 2) by inertnet on Thursday March 30 2017, @11:05AM

      by inertnet (4071) on Thursday March 30 2017, @11:05AM (#486425)

      And this needle like structure is going to experience high velocity jet streams from different directions at various altitudes. Bad idea, released two days early.

  • (Score: 2) by requerdanos on Thursday March 30 2017, @11:31AM

    by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 30 2017, @11:31AM (#486428) Journal

    The building would hover majestically above the ground because it would be attached -- wait for it -- to an actual asteroid, in space, that is forcibly put into orbit around the earth.

    This reminds me of an episode of the television program "That 70s Show" [youtube.com] in which our heroes always had very deep, meaningful thoughts while under the influence of cannabis, but never remembered them when back to normal. Enter the solution: A tape recorder! The above reads like it might be a transcript of such a tape.

    I am not trying to stand in the way of progress--if you want to build cloud city, power to you!--but did want to share one of my first reactions to this interesting approach.

  • (Score: 2) by Bot on Thursday March 30 2017, @12:26PM

    by Bot (3902) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 30 2017, @12:26PM (#486437)

    this sounds like the average architect before the average engineer tells him "it can't be done".

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 30 2017, @12:46PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 30 2017, @12:46PM (#486444)

    ...story about Donald Trump.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 30 2017, @02:28PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 30 2017, @02:28PM (#486469)

    Let's put aside all the technical problems, and just assume they were all solved. That still leaves open a simple, non-technical question: What's the point of it? Would anyone really want to live in that building (especially given that living there must be extremely expensive)? Well, maybe a few super-rich would buy a flat in it just because they have too much money anyway, but that certainly wouldn't be sufficient to fill a complete skyscraper.

    • (Score: 2) by SecurityGuy on Thursday March 30 2017, @04:22PM

      by SecurityGuy (1453) on Thursday March 30 2017, @04:22PM (#486565)

      Let's put aside all the technical problems, and just assume they were all solved.

      Actually, please never, ever, ever do that. Far too much time and effort is spent on stupid ideas when someone says "let's just pretend we have a solution to the insanely hard part..."

      Nobody needs to bother figuring out the market for this, because it's presently impossible. No one should even bother thinking about this until there's a functioning space elevator. Until then, this is just nonsense pandering to an uneducated public.

  • (Score: 2) by Sulla on Thursday March 30 2017, @02:39PM

    by Sulla (5173) on Thursday March 30 2017, @02:39PM (#486474) Journal

    Guess we know where all the rich will be living when this climate change thing pans out.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 30 2017, @10:39PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 30 2017, @10:39PM (#486791)

    Reminds me of the circular runways

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 01 2017, @07:53PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 01 2017, @07:53PM (#487705)

    what happens when you drag a weight on a long chain from a boat?
    depending on the speed of the boat it gets dragged up to the surface of the water.
    it doesn't just hover quietly over the bottom of the ocean.

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