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#39955 - 09/06/11 05:14 PM True Sky Scraper
Rallem Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 194
Loc: South Royalton, Vermont
I was discussing the idea of a sky scraper standing between 62 and 65 miles tal so spacecraft could be launched from it. I mentioned that the common wisdom was for a building that tall the base would have to be of equal square distance so the building would need to be a little over 8 miles squared. My brother said the one flaw with this topic is therer is noplace with large enough bed rock to support the building of that size. I thought the 8+ square miles was the equation to cover the lack of bed rock. Am I right? Is this lack of bed rock something an engineer could work around?

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#39971 - 09/07/11 05:51 AM Re: True Sky Scraper [Re: Rallem]
kallog Offline
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Registered: 03/17/10
Posts: 1100
You don't need any particular kind of rock to build on. That just affects the cost. You make as much artificial "bedrock" as you can afford using steel and concrete.

Have you looked at space elevators? That seems like a more realistic direction.


Edited by kallog (09/07/11 05:52 AM)

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#40076 - 09/11/11 11:12 AM Re: True Sky Scraper [Re: kallog]
Rallem Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 194
Loc: South Royalton, Vermont
I disagree with you on the space elevator idea Kallog, because while the space elevator is cheaper & uses fewer resources, it can only haul supplies in a very limited amount. Also the space elevator will eventually fall crashing a 62 to 65 mile long whip against the earth in any unknown direction and the whip might even strike several times. Even the tension of a storm could bring the satellite down if the cable were attached to it. The building would require an unusually large amount of material to create, plus it would probably take several decades to create, and it will become a target of opportunity against extremists, but with preventative steps and maintenance the building could last. In addition to the sustainability of using a building to raise supplies into space, it could also be used to raise entire space ships into Earth’s orbit, as well as crews.

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#40079 - 09/11/11 01:36 PM Re: True Sky Scraper [Re: Rallem]
kallog Offline
Megastar

Registered: 03/17/10
Posts: 1100
It's questionable whether the fuel savings would outweigh the resources/costs of construction. You'd have to be pretty confident of a stupendous amount of satellite launches and whatever else rockets do, which is hardly anything. As well as hoping no other technology appears before the building's paid for itself.

Energy savings wouldn't be amazing. It still takes a lot of energy to lift a spacecraft up a building.

What if the building collapses? Would be worse than a space elevator collapsing!

Either way, these things could be built in uninhabited areas or even on the ocean floor I guess.


Have you seen this? It looks a lot more realistic than a building that does little more than hold itself up:

http://nextbigfuture.com/2009/06/proposed-free-standing-inflatable-tower.html


Edited by kallog (09/11/11 01:48 PM)

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#40082 - 09/11/11 04:05 PM Re: True Sky Scraper [Re: kallog]
Rallem Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 194
Loc: South Royalton, Vermont
Actually I would hope other technologies would be discovered before the completion of the building, or else the entire purpose for the building would be moot. The thing is the engineers and architects designing and erecting this building would need to have some foresight in order to make room for and implement these technological advancements. Having a permanent structure could give any nation it was built in a significant advantage in the next space race both strategically and economically. Where other nations looking to launch vehicles and resupply them probably would opt to utilizing the building since building others might be considered prohibitive due to the enormous requirements for resources.

It is true the building could fall bringing a much more catastrophic incident, but with engineering, maintenance, and a planned life cycle that threat can be reduced. Simply put the building could be deconstructed when the engineers decide the time is right, and the resources can be recycled.

As far as elevating a space craft into space or launching it, it might not appear that a significant amount of energy is saved, but when you look at the energy being from a precious fuel source or from a renewable energy source such as green electricity the savings could be tremendous.

That was an interesting article.

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