Science fiction author Neal Stephenson together with Dr. Keith Hjelmstad of Arizona State University, concluded that it might be possible to build a very large structure, called Hieroglyph, a 20 km Skyscraper, to launch objects into space. Watch the video…
They developed some simple models to explore the structural requirements of such a tower and started thinking about where such a building might be placed.
The Hieroglyph 12.4 mile -20 km high skyscraper (24 times as tall as the world’s tallest building, the 2,717 foot – 828 meter Burj Khalifa), built from high-grade steel, could become the cheapest way to launch objects into outer space.
“As the tower conversation continues, the circle of collaborators has expanded to include aerospace engineering, sophisticated digital modeling and architectural design. In a sure sign that the tower project is about to get excitingly weird, Bruce Sterling wants in. In the months to come the tower project will continue to serve as a pilot for the larger ideal of Hieroglyph: a freewheeling conversation about a radically ambitious project that could be accomplished within the next few decades.”