This is a new one: An architecture firm has released speculative plans to build a tower suspended from an asteroid that would hang down to Earth.
Yes, you read that correctly.
This building — named the Analemma tower — would be the tallest in the world, according to Clouds Architecture Office.
The name of the tower refers to the figure-eight pattern the sun would make if you tracked it at the same time of day from the same place, every day for one year.
“By placing a large asteroid into orbit over earth, a high strength cable can be lowered towards the surface of earth from which a super tall tower can be suspended,” Clouds AO said in a statement about the project.
“… If the recent boom in residential towers proves that sales price per square foot rises with floor elevation, then Analemma Tower will command record prices, justifying its high cost of construction,” the firm added.
There are some important caveats that would come with this building, however. For example, it wouldn’t be stationary. During the course of 24 hours, the building would travel in a figure-eight pattern that would bring it above New York City and other locations farther south. Its path would be the same every day, according to the firm.
The building itself would be a pretty stunning thing to behold if it ever comes to fruition.
Of course this whole design is speculative, and there’s no guarantee anything will ever come of it. There are some serious hurdles to overcome in the building of this tower.
First of all, scientists still don’t know exactly how to tow an asteroid into orbit around Earth, and it doesn’t look like we’re going to find out anytime soon. The Trump administration recently put forward a budget that, if enacted, would end the development of NASA’s asteroid redirect mission designed to bring an asteroid into orbit around the moon.
The people behind the Analemma project cite the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft as an example of a successful landing on a comet, but they fail to mention that the Philae lander actually ended up in a totally unexpected part of the comet and stopped transmitting data far earlier than expected.
Also, just think about what it would be like to literally be inside of a thunderstorm. Yes, that sounds pretty awesome, but it could also be incredibly dangerous, and in all likelihood, that’s what you would be facing at some point in your life in Earth’s atmosphere.
Not to mention the fact that we have no idea if it’s even feasible to suspend a tower from an asteroid by a cable at all. (At least one architect who spoke to NBC News thinks that the whole idea is probably borderline impossible.)
But just on a personal note, assuming it isn’t some kind of elaborate April Fools’ Day joke, this whole thing is a little bit too Elysium-like for my taste.
In that movie, only the wealthiest people can leave Earth to live aboard a space station as the poorer people on the overpopulated planet have to make do with what they can scrounge together.
The cost of building Analemma would be so prohibitive that even if it were to become a reality, the price of any unit in the building — or even the price of a flight to it — would likely be unattainable for anyone but the most wealthy among us. Plus, its physical distance from the Earth’s surface would physically separate its residents from our planet.
And yeah, I’ve seen how that movie ends. Not interested.