Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

A 20-mile long ‘spacescraper’ dangling from an asteroid: Could it work?

Not sure I’m buying it – not with current building materials.  Excerpt:

Clouds Architecture Office espouses a dream-big-or-go-home philosophy with its plan to construct the world’s “tallest building ever.” The 20-mile high (or long) megastructure would dangle from an asteroid suspended by a cable system tens of thousands of miles long.

A number of engineering hurdles stand in the way, so would-be atmospheric settlers of tomorrow will have plenty of time to save up for a down payment. Nevertheless, today’s humble surface-dwellers may see inspirational value in proposing such castles in the sky, regardless of their feasibility.

Clouds AO’s “Analemma Tower” riffs on the concept of the space elevator, an orbiting counterweight tethered to Earth by an unimaginably long cable that, once built, could provide more affordable access to space.

But rather than a fixed line to the ground, the firm proposes an apartment building hanging off the lower end of a very, very, very long cable attached to an asteroid. The entire system would orbit at the same speed the Earth turns, so it could hover over a relatively narrow area, rather than zipping around many times per day, like the International Space Station does.

Now, I’m saying this as a guy who once wrote a sci-fi book in which a planet-to-low-orbit space elevator called a “Skyhook” figured heavily.  But at least that scenario depended on future technology that enabled the builders to ‘grow’ carbon fiber nanotubes.

(What’s fun about writing science fiction is the abandon with which we just make shit up.)

But let’s just assume for a moment that this suspended tower notion could be built.  Imagine what will happen when something inevitably goes wrong.  Hopefully the dangling skyscraper (skydangler?) won’t be over a populated area when the cable somehow breaks.

The very thought would be enough to give Damocles nightmares.